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Geological and Atmospheric Sciences

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Environmental Science and Technology




Microaerophilic Fe(II)-oxidizing bacteria are often chemolithoautotrophs, and the Fe(III) (oxyhydr)oxides they form could immobilize arsenic (As). If such microbes are active in karstic paddy soils, their activity would help increase soil organic carbon and mitigate As contamination. We therefore used gel-stabilized gradient systems to cultivate microaerophilic Fe(II)-oxidizing bacteria from karstic paddy soil to investigate their capacity for Fe(II) oxidation, carbon fixation, and As sequestration. Stable isotope probing (SIP) demonstrated the assimilation of inorganic carbon at a maximum rate of 8.02 mmol C m-2 d-1. Sequencing revealed that Bradyrhizobium, Cupriavidus, Hyphomicrobium, Kaistobacter, Mesorhizobium, Rhizobium, unclassified Phycisphaerales, and unclassified Opitutaceas, were fixing carbon. Fe(II) oxidation produced Fe(III) (oxyhydr)oxides, which can absorb and/or co-precipitate As. Adding As(III) decreased the diversity of functional bacteria involved in carbon fixation, the relative abundance of predicted carbon fixation genes, and the amount of carbon fixed. Although the rate of Fe(II) oxidation was also lower in the presence of As(III), over 90% of the As(III) was sequestered after oxidation. The potential for microbially mediated As(III) oxidation was revealed by the presence of arsenite oxidase gene (aioA), denoting the potential of the Fe(II) oxidizing and autotrophic microbial community to also oxidize As(III). The results of this study demonstrate that carbon fixation coupled to Fe(II) oxidation can increase the carbon content in soils by microaerophilic Fe(II)-oxidizing bacteria, as well as accelerate As(III) oxidation and sequester it in association with Fe(III) (oxyhydr)oxides.


This is a manuscript of an article published as Tong, Hui, Chunju Zheng, Bing Li, Elizabeth D. Swanner, Chengshuai Liu, Manjia Chen, Yafei Xia et al. "Microaerophilic Oxidation of Fe (II) Coupled with Simultaneous Carbon Fixation and As (III) Oxidation and Sequestration in Karstic Paddy Soil." Environmental Science & Technology (2021). doi:10.1021/acs.est.0c05791. Posted with permission.

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American Chemical Society



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