These are preliminary reports that have not been peer-reviewed. They should not be regarded as conclusive, guide clinical practice/health-related behavior, or be reported in news media as established information. For more information, please see our FAQs.
Mishra Pirbadian 2019 ChemRxiv Preprint.pdf (1.36 MB)

Spin-Dependent Electron Transport through Bacterial Cell Surface Multiheme Electron Conduits

submitted on 29.08.2019, 17:36 and posted on 30.08.2019, 15:47 by Suryakant Mishra, Sahand Pirbadian, Amit Kumar Mondal, Moh El-Naggar, Ron Naaman
Multiheme cytochromes, located on the bacterial cell surface, function as long-distance (> 10 nm) electron conduits linking intracellular reactions to external surfaces. This extracellular electron transfer process, which allows microorganisms to gain energy by respiring solid redox-active minerals, also facilitates the wiring of cells to electrodes. While recent studies suggested that a chiral induced spin selectivity effect is linked to efficient electron transmission through biomolecules, this phenomenon has not been investigated in the extracellular electron conduits. Using magnetic conductive probe atomic force microscopy, Hall voltage measurements, and spin-dependent electrochemistry of the decaheme cytochromes MtrF and OmcA from the metal-reducing bacterium Shewanella oneidensis MR-1, we show that electron transport through these extracellular conduits is spin-selective. Our study has implications for understanding how spin-dependent interactions and magnetic fields may control electron transport across biotic-abiotic interfaces in both natural and biotechnological systems.


U.S. Office of Naval Research Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative Grant No. N00014-18-1-2632

The Templeton Foundation

The Israel Science Foundation


Email Address of Submitting Author


University of Southern California



ORCID For Submitting Author


Declaration of Conflict of Interest


Version Notes

Original version completed 8/27/2019


Read the published paper

in Journal of the American Chemical Society