Iron management and production of electricity by microorganisms

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9 Citations (Scopus)


The increasing dependency on fossil fuels has driven researchers to seek for alternative energy sources. Renewable energy sources such as sunlight, wind, or water are the most common. However, since the 1990s, other sources for energy production have been studied. The use of microorganisms such as bacteria or archaea to produce energy is currently in great progress. These present several advantages even when compared with other renewable energy sources. Besides the energy production, they are also involved in bioremediation such as the removal of heavy metal contaminants from soils or wastewaters. Several research groups have demonstrated that these organisms are able to interact with electrodes via heme and non-heme iron proteins. Therefore, the role of iron as well as iron metabolism in these species must be of enormous relevance. Recently, the influence of cellular iron regulation by Fur in the Geobacter sulfurreducens growth and ability to produce energy was demonstrated. In this review, we aim to briefly describe the most relevant proteins involved in the iron metabolism of bacteria and archaea and relate them and their biological function with the ability of selected organisms to produce energy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8329-8336
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 22 Oct 2015


  • Bacterial iron metabolism
  • Bioenergy
  • Bioremediation
  • Green energy
  • Microbial fuel cells


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