Living Electric Cable Bacteria Help Other Bacteria Catch Their Breath

PhD defence, Thursday 17 May 2018, Jesper Tataru Bjerg.

2018.05.17 | Trine Berndt Turtiainen Scheelke

Jesper Tataru Bjerg

Cable bacteria are filamentous bacteria which can breathe by creating an electrical current in the sea bed. Electrons produced from the oxidation of sulfide is transmitted through an unknown mechanism, through ‘string’ structures in the outer parts of the filaments, up to oxygen, which can be as much as 5 centimeters away. As such, cable bacteria represent a new way of life in the sediments, and short circuits old notions of how electron acceptors and donors interact in sediment. At my defense I will talk about cable bacteria in a popular science format, and show the newest insights we have gained on how they conduct current. I will also show how a newly found cable bacteria appears to help other bacteria breathe by letting them access its electric current.

The PhD degree was completed at the Centre for Electromicrobiology (CEM), Science and Technology, Aarhus University.

This résumé was prepared by the PhD student.

Time: Thursday 17th of May 2018, at 1 pm
Place: Building 1531, room 113, Auditorium D1, Department of Mathematics, Aarhus University
Title of PhD thesis: Cable bacteria
Contact information: Jesper Tataru Bjerg, e-mail:, tel.: +45 40433087
Members of the assessment committee:
Associate Scientist Stefan Sievert, Biology Department, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Director for Strategic Product Development Niels Birger Ramsing, Vitrolife A/S
Associate Professor Kurt Thomas Jensen, Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University (chair)
Main supervisor:
Professor Lars Peter Nielsen, CEM, Aarhus University
Professor Andreas Schramm, CEM, Aarhus University
Language: The PhD dissertation will be defended in English,in a popular science format

The defence is public.
The PhD thesis is available for reading at the Graduate School of Science and Technology/GSST,
Ny Munkegade 120, building 1520, rooms 128-134, 8000 Aarhus C.

PhD defence
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Revised 17.05.2018