© 2015 Dong et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Specific environmental stresses may lead to induced genomic instability in bacteria, generating beneficial mutants and potentially accelerating the breeding of industrial microorganisms. The environmental stresses inside the aqueous battery may be derived from such conditions as ion shuttle, pH gradient, free radical reaction and electric field. In most industrial and medical applications, electric fields and direct currents are used to kill bacteria and yeast. However, the present study focused on increasing bacterial survival inside an operating battery. Using a bacterial acclimation strategy, both Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis were acclimated for 10 battery operation cycles and survived in the battery for over 3 days. The acclimated bacteria changed in cell shape, growth rate and colony color. Further analysis indicated that electrolyte concentration could be one of the major factors determining bacterial survival inside an aqueous battery. The acclimation process significantly improved the viability of both bacteria E. coliand B. subtilis. The viability of acclimated strains was not affected under battery cycle conditions of 0.18-0.80 mA cm cm < sup > -2 < /sup > and 1.4-2.1 V. Bacterial addition within 1.0×10 < sup > 10 < /sup > cells mL < sup > -1 < /sup > did not significantly affect battery performance. Because the environmental stress inside the aqueous battery is specific, the use of this battery acclimation strategy may be of great potential for the breeding of industrial microorganisms.
Dong, D., Chen, B., & Chen, P. (2015). Bacterial acclimation inside an aqueous battery. PLoS ONE, 10(6). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0129130