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Isotopic and chemical investigations of Fe (III) reduction by Shewanella putrefaciens strain 200R


Corresponding author: T. A. Gebrehiwet. Tel.: (269) 598 5565; fax: (405) 325-3140; e-mail:


Experiments were conducted using the Fe+3-reducing bacterium Shewanella putrefaciens strain 200R to determine the stable carbon isotope fractionation during dissimilatory Fe (III) reduction and associated lactate oxidation at circum-neutral pH. Previous studies used equilibrium fractionation factors (~14.3‰) between bacterial biomass and synthesized fatty acids to identify the predominant carbon fixation pathways for some of the most frequently isolated microbes including Shewanella under anaerobic conditions. We investigated the carbon isotope disproportionation among organic carbon substrate (lactate), biomass and respired carbon dioxide at the lag to stationary phase of the growth curve. Ferric citrate and sodium lactate were used as electron acceptor and donor, respectively. Sodium bicarbonate or potassium phosphate was used as buffering agent. Iron (II), iron (III), dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and carbon isotope ratios were measured for both bicarbonate- and phosphate-buffered systems. Carbon isotope ratio measurements were made on the respired CO2 (as DIC) and microbial biomass for both buffering conditions. The fraction of lactate consumed was estimated using DIC as a proxy and was verified by direct measurement using HPLC. Our result showed that bicarbonate-buffered system has an enhancing effect in the reduction process compared to the phosphate system. Both systems resulted in carbon isotope fractionations between the lactate substrate and DIC that could be modelled as a Rayleigh process. The biomass produced under both buffer conditions was depleted on average by ~2‰ relative to the substrate and enriched by ~5‰ relative to the DIC. This translates to an overall isotopic fractionation of 10–12‰ between the biomass and respired CO2 in both buffering systems.