A dissimilatory Fe(III)- and Mn(IV)-reducing bacterium was isolated from bottom sediments of the Great Bay estuary, New Hampshire. The isolate was a facultatively anaerobic gram-negative rod which did not appear to fit into any previously described genus. It was temporarily designated strain BrY. BrY grew anaerobically in a defined medium with hydrogen or lactate as the electron donor and Fe(III) as the electron acceptor. BrY required citrate, fumarate, or malate as a carbon source for growth on H2 and Fe(III). With Fe(III) as the sole electron acceptor, BrY metabolized hydrogen to a minimum threshold at least 60-fold lower than the threshold reported for pure cultures of sulfate reducers. This finding supports the hypothesis that when Fe(III) is available, Fe(III) reducers can outcompete sulfate reducers for electron donors. Lactate was incompletely oxidized to acetate and carbon dioxide with Fe(III) as the electron acceptor. Lactate oxidation was also coupled to the reduction of Mn(IV), U(VI), fumarate, thiosulfate, or trimethylamine n-oxide under anaerobic conditions. BrY provides a model for how enzymatic metal reduction by respiratory metal-reducing microorganisms has the potential to contribute to the mobilization of iron and trace metals and to the immobilization of uranium in sediments of Great Bay Estuary.
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A hydrogen-oxidizing, Fe(III)-reducing microorganism from the Great Bay estuary, New Hampshire