Liliana Teixeira, Ms.

RABBIT PhD student (PD/BD/114445/2016)

“Unveiling Geobacter sulfurreducens electron transfer chain: probing the mechanis" (2016-2020)

Extracellular electron transfer is the most remarkable feature of the bacterium Geobacter sulfurreducens, by which it can reduce toxic or radioactive metals and convert renewable biomass to electricity. However, the mechanisms by which Geobacter sulfurreducens transfers electrons to the cells exterior are still poorly understood. The clarification of such mechanisms is the main goal of this PhD project aiming to contribute to the enhancement of Geobacter sulfurreducens based bioremediation and electricity harvesting applications. Complementary genetic, biochemical and electrochemical experimental approaches will be used to study and explore Geobacter sulfurreducens proteins, namely cytochromes localized at inner membrane/periplasm interface, at periplasm and at periplasm/outer-membrane interface. During this PhD project, the targeted proteins will be cloned and expressed using molecular biology and biochemistry protocols. Once obtained, the proteins will be functionally characterized using different spectroscopic methods and electrochemical studies. This will constitute a route to understand the electron transfer interfacial mechanism towards efficient practical applications in bioremediation processes and bioenergy production.