Alteration of iron-rich lacustrine sediments by dissimilatory iron-reducing bacteria

Authors

  • S. A. CROWE,

    1. Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research, University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario, Canada N9B 3P4
    2. Department of Geology, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas 66045, USA
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  • J. A. ROBERTS,

    1. Department of Geology, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas 66045, USA
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  • C. G. WEISENER,

    1. Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research, University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario, Canada N9B 3P4
    2. Department of Earth Sciences, University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario, Canada N9B 3P4
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  • D. A. FOWLE

    1. Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research, University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario, Canada N9B 3P4
    2. Department of Geology, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas 66045, USA
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Corresponding author: D. A. Fowle. Tel.: +1 785 864 1955; fax: +1 785 964 5276; e-mail: fowle@ku.edu.

ABSTRACT

The reduction of Fe during bacterial anaerobic respiration in sediments and soils not only causes the degradation of organic matter but also results in changes in mineralogy and the redistribution of many nutrients and trace metals. Understanding trace metal patterns in sedimentary rocks and predicting the fate of contaminants in the environment requires a detailed understanding of the mechanisms through which they are redistributed during Fe reduction. In this work, lacustrine sediments from Lake Matano in Indonesia were incubated in a minimal media with the dissimilatory iron reducing (DIR) bacterium Shewanella putrefaciens 200R. These sediments were reductively dissolved at rates slower than pure synthetic goethite despite the presence of an ‘easily reducible’ component, as defined by selective extractions. DIR of the lacustrine sediments resulted in the substrate-dependent production of abundant quantities of extracellular polymeric substances. Trace elements, including Ni, Co, P, Si, and As, were released from the sediments with progressive Fe reduction while Cr was sequestered. Much of the initial trace metal mobility can be attributed to the rapid reduction of a Mn-rich oxyhydroxide phase. The production of organo-Fe(III) reveals that DIR bacteria can generate significant metal complexation capacity. This work demonstrates that DIR induces the release of many elements associated with Fe-Mn oxyhydroxides, despite secondary mineralization.

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