Industrial fermentation in aerobic processes is plagued by high costs due to gas transfer limitations and substrate oxidation to CO2
. It has been a longstanding challenge to engineer an obligate aerobe organism, such as Pseudomonas putida
, into an anaerobe to facilitate its industrial application. However, the progress in this field is limited, due to the poor understanding of the constraints restricting its anoxic phenotype. In this paper, we provide a methodological description of a novel cultivation technology for P. putida
under anaerobic conditions, using the so-called microbial electrochemical technology within a bioelectrochemical system. By using an electrode as the terminal electron acceptor (mediated via redox chemicals), glucose catabolism could be activated without oxygen present. This (i) provides an anoxic-producing platform for sugar acid production at high yield and (ii) more importantly, enables systematic and quantitative characterizations of the phenotype of P. putida
in the absence of molecular oxygen. This unique electrode-based cultivation approach offers a tool to understand and in turn engineer the anoxic phenotype of P. putida
and possibly also other obligate aerobes.
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