Arsenic is a metalloid whose name conjures up images of murder. Nonetheless, certain prokaryotes use arsenic oxyanions for energy generation, either by oxidizing arsenite or by respiring arsenate. These microbes are phylogenetically diverse and occur in a wide range of habitats. Arsenic cycling may take place in the absence of oxygen and can contribute to organic matter oxidation. In aquifers, these microbial reactions may mobilize arsenic from the solid to the aqueous phase, resulting in contaminated drinking water. Here we review what is known about arsenic-metabolizing bacteria and their potential impact on speciation and mobilization of arsenic in nature.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||The ecology of arsenic|
|Publisher||American Association for the Advancement of Science|
|Contributing office(s)||Toxic Substances Hydrology Program|