The respiratory activity of microbial cells on the surface of a graphite electrode was inhibited by applying a constant potential to the graphite electrode. The respiratory activity of whole cells of S. cerevisiae decreased to 25% of the initial activity after 7 min when the electrode potential was controlled at +0.74 V versus s.c.e. The loss of respiratory activity was also observed for B. subtilis and E. coli. CoA existing in the cell wall was electrochemically oxidized to dimeric CoA and, as a result, the respiration of cells was inhibited. Inhibition of the respiratory activity resulted in the death of the microbial cells.
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