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Microbial Reduction Of Chromium From The Hexavalent To Divalent State

T. Daulton, B. Little, J. Jones-Meehan, D. Blom, L. Allard
Published 2007 · Chemistry

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Abstract We demonstrate that Shewanella oneidensis , a metal-reducing bacteria species with cytoplasmic-membrane-bound reductases and remarkably diverse respiratory capabilities, reduced Cr(VI) to Cr(II) in anaerobic cultures where chromate was the sole terminal electron acceptor. Individual cell microanalysis by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) using electron energy-loss spectroscopy (EELS) and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDXS) demonstrates Cr(II) concentrated near the cytoplasmic membrane, suggesting the terminal reduction pathway is intracellularly localized. Further, estimated cellular Cr(II) concentrations are relatively high at upwards of 0.03–0.09 g Cr/g bacterium. Accumulation of Cr(II) is observed in S. oneidensis cells prior to the formation of submicron-sized precipitates of insoluble Cr(III) on their surfaces. Furthermore, under anaerobic conditions, Cr(III) precipitates that encrust cells are shown to contain Cr(II) that is likely bound in the net negatively charged extracellular biopolymers which can permeate the surfaces of the precipitates. In otherwise nearly identical incubations, Cr(III) precipitate formation was observed in cultures maintained anaerobic with bubbled nitrogen but not in three replicate cultures in an anaerobic chamber.
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