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Bacteria work together to create energy from sunlight

Bacteria, with their ability to grow, develop and sustain themselves in a variety of conditions, could be the miniature powerhouses that could drive us to a clean energy future.

Researchers at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute are studying certain bacteria’s ability to produce electricity by coordinating their metabolic activities.

They studied the light-sensitive green sulfur bacterium Chlorobium and found that – working in tandem with Geobacter, an anode respiring bacterium it can produce electricity when exposed to light.

“Geobacter is not light responsive on its own right because it’s not a photosynthetic organism,” explains Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown.

In contrast, Chlorobium is unable to carry out the anode form of respiration necessary for electricity production.
 
 

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