Trichodesmium erythraeum produces a higher photocurrent than other cyanobacterial species in bio-photo electrochemical cells

Yaniv Shlosberg, Dina Spungin, Gadi Schuster, Ilana Berman-Frank, Noam Adir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The increase in world energy consumption, and the worries from potential future disasters that may derive from climate change have stimulated the development of renewable energy technologies. One promising method is the utilization of whole photosynthetic cyanobacterial cells to produce photocurrent in a bio-photo electrochemical cell (BPEC). The photocurrent can be derived from either the respiratory or photosynthetic pathways, via the redox couple NADP+/NADPH mediating cyclic electron transport between photosystem I inside the cells, and the anode. In the past, most studies have utilized the fresh-water cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 (Syn). Here, we show that the globally important marine cyanobacterium Trichodesmium erythraeum flourishing in the subtropical oceans can provide improved currents as compared to Syn. We applied 2D-fluorescence measurements to detect the secretion of NADPH and show that the resulting photocurrent production is enhanced by increasing the electrolyte salinity, Further enhancement of the photocurrent can be obtained by the addition of electron mediators such as NAD+, NADP+, cytochrome C, vitamin B1, or potassium ferricyanide. Finally, we produce photocurrent from additional cyanobacterial species: Synechocystis sp. PCC6803, Synechococcus elongatus PCC7942, Acaryochloris marina MBIC 11017, and Spirulina, using their cultivation media as electrolytes for the BPEC.

Original languageEnglish
Article number148910
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Bioenergetics
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding was provided by a “Nevet” grant from the Grand Technion Energy Program (GTEP) and a Technion VPR Berman Grant for Energy Research. Some of the results reported in this work were obtained using central facilities at the Technion's Hydrogen Technologies Research Laboratory (HTRL) supported by the Nancy & Stephen Grand Technion Energy Program (GTEP), the ADELIS Foundation, and the Solar Fuels I-CORE. We thank Dr. Rachel Edreii for her technical support. Yaniv Shlosberg is supported by fellowships of the Nancy & Stephen Grand Technion Energy Program (GTEP) and by a Schulich Graduate fellowship. Some of the figures were prepared using .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier B.V.


  • Bioelectricity
  • Cyanobacteria
  • Electrochemistry
  • Mediated electron transfer
  • Solar energy conversion


Dive into the research topics of 'Trichodesmium erythraeum produces a higher photocurrent than other cyanobacterial species in bio-photo electrochemical cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this