Synthetic Saccharomyces cerevisiae-Shewanella oneidensis consortium enables glucose-fed high-performance microbial fuel cell

Tong Lin, Xue Bai, Yidan Hu, Bingzhi Li, Ying Jin Yuan, Hao Song, Yun Yang, Jingyu Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) were green and sustainable bio-electrochemical reactors for simultaneous wastewater treatment and electricity harvest from organic wastes. However, exoelectrogens, such as Shewanella and Geobacter being widely studied in MFCs, could only use a limited spectrum of carbon sources. To expand the carbon source range being used in MFCs, we herein rationally designed a glucose-fed fungus-bacteria microbial consortium including a fermenter (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) in which the ethanol pathway was knocked out and the lactic acid biosynthesis pathway from Bovin was introduced into S. cerevisiae, and an exoelectrogen (Shewanella oneidensis MR-1). We optimized the co-culturing conditions of the microbial consortium to achieve an optimal coordination between carbon source metabolism of the fermenter and extracellular electron transfer of the exoelectrogen, such that lactate, the metabolic product of glucose by the recombinant S. cerevisiae, was continuously supplied to S. oneidensis in a constant level until glucose exhaustion. This metabolic coordination between the fermenter and the exoelectrogen enabled bioelectricity production in a glucose-fed MFC. Furthermore, a porin protein encoded by oprF gene from Pseudomonas aeruginosa was incorporated into the outer membrane of S. oneidensis to enhance membrane permeability and its hydrophobicity, which in turn facilitated its biofilm formation and power generation. The glucose-fed MFC inoculated with the recombinant S. cerevisiae-recombinant S. oneidensis generated a maximum power density of 123.4 mW/m2, significantly higher than that of recombinant S. cerevisiae-wild-type S. oneidensis (71.5 mW/m2). Our design strategy of synthetic microbial consortia was highly scalable to empower the possibility of a wide range of carbon sources being used in MFCs, e.g., xylose, cellulosic biomass, and recalcitrant wastes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1830-1838
Number of pages9
JournalAIChE Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 American Institute of Chemical Engineers


  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  • Shewanella oneidensis MR-1
  • microbial consortia
  • microbial fuel cell
  • porin protein
  • synthetic biology


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