Selenate reduction to elemental selenium by anaerobic bacteria in sediments and culture: biogeochemical significance of a novel, sulfate-independent respiration

Applied and Environmental Microbiology
By: , and 

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Abstract

Interstitial water profiles of SeO42−, SeO32−, SO42−, and Cl in anoxic sediments indicated removal of the seleno-oxyanions by a near-surface process unrelated to sulfate reduction. In sediment slurry experiments, a complete reductive removal of SeO42− occurred under anaerobic conditions, was more rapid with H2 or acetate, and was inhibited by O2, NO3, MnO2, or autoclaving but not by SO42− or FeOOH. Oxidation of acetate in sediments could be coupled to selenate but not to molybdate. Reduction of selenate to elemental selenium was determined to be the mechanism for loss from solution. Selenate reduction was inhibited by tungstate and chromate but not by molybdate. A small quantity of the elemental selenium precipitated into sediments from solution could be resolublized by oxidation with either nitrate or FeOOH, but not with MnO2. A bacterium isolated from estuarine sediments demonstrated selenate-dependent growth on acetate, forming elemental selenium and carbon dioxide as respiratory end products. These results indicate that dissimilatory selenate reduction to elemental selenium is the major sink for selenium oxyanions in anoxic sediments. In addition, they suggest application as a treatment process for removing selenium oxyanions from wastewaters and also offer an explanation for the presence of selenite in oxic waters.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Selenate reduction to elemental selenium by anaerobic bacteria in sediments and culture: biogeochemical significance of a novel, sulfate-independent respiration
Series title Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Volume 55
Issue 9
Year Published 1989
Language English
Publisher American Society for Microbiology
Contributing office(s) Pacific Regional Director's Office, San Francisco Bay-Delta
Description 11 p.
First page 2333
Last page 2343
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N