Characterization and Proteomic Analysis of Geobacter sulfurreducens PCA under Long-Term Electron-Donor Starvation

Reema Bansal, Laura J. Liermann, Bruce Stanley, Susan L. Brantley, Ming Tien

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2 Scopus citations


The natural environment of Geobacter sulfurreducens is oligotrophic and described as limiting in both electron donors and terminal electron acceptors (TEA). In previous studies we examined the effects of long-term TEA (fumarate) limitation, and in this study we examine long-term batch cultures under limiting electron donor. The microorganism survived under long-term electron donor (acetate) starvation, maintaining a stable population of ~1-2× 108 cells mL-1for >650 days. Proteins that varied in abundance with a high level of statistical significance (p < 0.05) for stages between mid-log to survival phase (acetate starved) were identified using iTRAQ based mass spectroscopy. The most highly represented proteins that significantly increased in level in the survival phase cells are generally membrane-associated and are involved in energy metabolism and protein fate. These results document that changes in the outer and cytoplasmic membranes may help G. sulfurreducens survive during starvation through detection and transport of nutrients into the cell. A sizeable portion of the identified proteins with unknown or hypothetical function further suggest that much of the biological process involved in survival have yet to be fully understood. G. sulfurreducens was also able to survive under long-term TEA-starvation conditions with ferric citrate as TEA and maintained a stable population of 1.5-3 × 107 cells mL-1 for >650 days. We also found that survival phase cells from fumarate-limiting conditions were able to quickly resuscitate and reduce metal such as ferric iron as compared to the mid-log phase cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalGeomicrobiology Journal
StatePublished - Nov 3 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Environmental Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


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