April 21, 2020  |  

Metabolite-based mutualism enhances hydrogen production in a two-species microbial consortium

Authors: Wang, Shaojie and Tang, Hongzhi and Peng, Fei and Yu, Xijia and Su, Haijia and Xu, Ping and Tan, Tianwei

Sustainable hydrogen production from renewable and low-cost substrates is very important to mitigate environmental and energy-related issues. Microbial consortia are promising for diverse bioenergy and environmental applications, yet microbial interactions are not fully understood. Here, we present comprehensive investigation on how two species in an artificial microbial consortium, consisting of Bacillus cereus A1 and Brevundimonas naejangsanensis B1, mutually cooperate to achieve an overall enhancement in hydrogen production and starch utilization. In this consortium, strains A1 and B1 secrete a-amylase and glucoamylase that are functionally complementary in starch hydrolysis. Moreover, strain A1 converts starch into lactate as a carbon source and electron donor, supporting the cell growth and hydrogen generation of strain B1. In return, strain B1 produces formate as an electron shuttle to strain A1 to enhance hydrogen production. The co-culture re-directs the overall metabolic flux, facilitates the cell growth, and up-regulates the key genes of hydrogen production and starch hydrolysis.

Journal: Communications biology
DOI: 10.1038/s42003-019-0331-8
Year: 2019

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