A hybrid extracellular electron transfer pathway enhances the survival of vibrio natriegens

Bridget E. Conley, Matthew T. Weinstock, Daniel R. Bond, Jeffrey A. Gralnick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Vibrio natriegens is the fastest-growing microorganism discovered to date, making it a useful model for biotechnology and basic research. While it is recognized for its rapid aerobic metabolism, less is known about anaerobic adaptations in V. natriegens or how the organism survives when oxygen is limited. Here, we describe and characterize extracellular electron transfer e01253-20 in V. natriegens, a metabolism that requires movement of electrons across protective cellular barriers to reach the extracellular space. V. natriegens performs extracellular electron transfer under fermentative conditions with gluconate, glucosamine, and pyruvate. We characterized a pathway in V. natriegens that requires CymA, PdsA, and MtrCAB for Fe(III) citrate and Fe(III) oxide reduction, which represents a hybrid of strategies previously discovered in Shewanella and Aeromonas. Expression of these V. natriegens genes functionally complemented Shewanella oneidensis mutants. Phylogenetic analysis of the inner membrane quinol dehydrogenases CymA and NapC in gammaproteobacteria suggests that CymA from Shewanella diverged from Vibrionaceae CymA and NapC. Analysis of sequenced Vibrionaceae revealed that the genetic potential to perform EET is conserved in some members of the Harveyi and Vulnificus clades but is more variable in other clades. We provide evidence that EET enhances anaerobic survival of V. natriegens, which may be the primary physiological function for EET in Vibrionaceae.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere01253-20
JournalApplied and environmental microbiology
Issue number19
StatePublished - Sep 17 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation (DEB-1542513) to D.R.B. and J.A.G. B.E.C. was partially supported by the Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship from the University of Minnesota.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 American Society for Microbiology.

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Anaerobic respiration
  • Metal reduction
  • Survival

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A hybrid extracellular electron transfer pathway enhances the survival of vibrio natriegens'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this