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Oxidation of aromatic contaminants coupled to microbial iron reduction

Nature

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, , , , , and

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Abstract

THE contamination of sub-surface water supplies with aromatic compounds is a significant environmental concern1,2. As these contaminated sub-surface environments are generally anaerobic, the microbial oxidation of aromatic compounds coupled to nitrate reduction, sulphate reduction and methane production has been studied intensively1-7. In addition, geochemical evidence suggests that Fe(III) can be an important electron acceptor for the oxidation of aromatic compounds in anaerobic groundwater. Until now, only abiological mechanisms for the oxidation of aromatic compounds with Fe(III) have been reported8-12. Here we show that in aquatic sediments, microbial activity is necessary for the oxidation of model aromatic compounds coupled to Fe(III) reduction. Furthermore, a pure culture of the Fe(III)-reducing bacterium GS-15 can obtain energy for growth by oxidizing benzoate, toluene, phenol or p-cresol with Fe(III) as the sole electron acceptor. These results extend the known physiological capabilities of Fe(III)-reducing organisms and provide the first example of an organism of any type which can oxidize an aromatic hydrocarbon anaerobically. ?? 1989 Nature Publishing Group.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Oxidation of aromatic contaminants coupled to microbial iron reduction
Series title:
Nature
Volume
339
Issue:
6222
Year Published:
1989
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Nature
First page:
297
Last page:
300
Number of Pages:
4