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Abstract

Fe(II) organic matter (Fe(II)-OM) complexes are abundant in the environment and may play a key role for the behavior of Fe and pollutants. Mixotrophic nitrate reducing Fe(II)-oxidizing bacteria (NRFeOx) reduce nitrate coupled to the oxidation of organic compounds and Fe(II). Fe(II) oxidation may occur enzymatically or abiotically by reaction with nitrite that forms during heterotrophic denitrification. However, it is unknown whether Fe(II) OM complexes can be oxidized by NRFeOx. We used cell suspension experiments with the mixotrophic nitrate-reducing Fe(II)-oxidizing bacterium Acidovorax sp. strain BoFeN1 to reveal the role of nonorganically bound Fe(II) (aqueous Fe(II)) and nitrite for the rates and extent of oxidation of Fe(II)-OM complexes (Fe(II)-citrate, Fe(II)-EDTA, Fe(II)-humic acid, and Fe(II)-fulvic acid). We found that Fe(II)-OM complexation inhibited microbial nitrate-reducing Fe(II)-oxidation; large colloidal and negatively charged complexes showed lower oxidation rates than aqueous Fe(II). Accumulation of nitrite and fast abiotic oxidation of Fe(II)-OM complexes only happened in the presence of aqueous Fe(II) that probably interacted with (nitrite -reducing) enzymes in the periplasm causing nitrite accumulation in the periplasm and outside of the cells, whereas Fe(II)-OM complexes probably could not enter the periplasm and cause nitrite accumulation. These results suggest that Fe(II)-oxidation by mixotrophic nitrate reducers in the environment depends on Fe(II) speciation, and that aqueous Fe(II) potentially plays a critical role in regulating microbial denitrification processes.

Authors

Peng, Chao;  Sundman, Anneli;  Bryce, Casey;  Catrouillet, Charlotte;  Borch, Thomas;  Kappler, Andreas

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