Rewiring the respiratory pathway of Lactococcus lactis to enhance extracellular electron transfer

Liuyan Gu, Xinxin Xiao, Ge Zhao, Paul Kempen, Shuangqing Zhao, Jianming Liu, Sang Yup Lee, Christian Solem

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Lactococcus lactis, a lactic acid bacterium with a typical fermentative metabolism, can also use oxygen as an extracellular electron acceptor. Here we demonstrate, for the first time, that L. lactis blocked in NAD + regeneration can use the alternative electron acceptor ferricyanide to support growth. By electrochemical analysis and characterization of strains carrying mutations in the respiratory chain, we pinpoint the essential role of the NADH dehydrogenase and 2-amino-3-carboxy-1,4-naphtoquinone in extracellular electron transfer (EET) and uncover the underlying pathway systematically. Ferricyanide respiration has unexpected effects on L. lactis, e.g., we find that morphology is altered from the normal coccoid to a more rod shaped appearance, and that acid resistance is increased. Using adaptive laboratory evolution (ALE), we successfully enhance the capacity for EET. Whole-genome sequencing reveals the underlying reason for the observed enhanced EET capacity to be a late-stage blocking of menaquinone biosynthesis. The perspectives of the study are numerous, especially within food fermentation and microbiome engineering, where EET can help relieve oxidative stress, promote growth of oxygen sensitive microorganisms and play critical roles in shaping microbial communities.

TidsskriftMicrobial Biotechnology
Udgave nummer6
Sider (fra-til)1277-1292
Antal sider16
StatusUdgivet - jun. 2023

Bibliografisk note

© 2023 The Authors. Microbial Biotechnology published by Applied Microbiology International and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


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