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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1999 Oct;65(10):4611-7.

Sulfonates as terminal electron acceptors for growth of sulfite-reducing bacteria (Desulfitobacterium spp.) and sulfate-reducing bacteria: effects of inhibitors of sulfidogenesis.

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  • 1Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut 06269-2131, USA.

Erratum in

  • Appl Environ Microbiol 2000 Jun;66(6):2693.


This study demonstrates the ability of Desulfitobacterium spp. to utilize aliphatic sulfonates as terminal electron acceptors (TEA) for growth. Isethionate (2-hydroxyethanesulfonate) reduction by Desulfitobacterium hafniense resulted in acetate as well as sulfide accumulation in accordance with the expectation that the carbon portion of isethionate was oxidized to acetate and the sulfur was reduced to sulfide. The presence of a polypeptide, approximately 97 kDa, was evident in isethionate-grown cells of Desulfitobacterium hafniense, Desulfitobacterium sp. strain PCE 1, and the two sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB)-Desulfovibrio desulfuricans IC1 (T. J. Lie, J. R. Leadbetter, and E. R. Leadbetter, Geomicrobiol. J. 15:135-149, 1998) and Desulfomicrobium norvegicum; this polypeptide was not detected when these bacteria were grown on TEA other than isethionate, suggesting involvement in its metabolism. The sulfate analogs molybdate and tungstate, effective in inhibiting sulfate reduction by SRB, were examined for their effects on sulfonate reduction. Molybdate effectively inhibited sulfonate reduction by strain IC1 and selectively inhibited isethionate (but not cysteate) reduction by Desulfitobacterium dehalogenans and Desulfitobacterium sp. strain PCE 1. Desulfitobacterium hafniense, however, grew with both isethionate and cysteate in the presence of molybdate. In contrast, tungstate only partially inhibited sulfonate reduction by both SRB and Desulfitobacterium spp. Similarly, another inhibitor of sulfate reduction, 1,8-dihydroxyanthraquinone, effectively inhibited sulfate reduction by SRB but only partially inhibited sulfonate reduction by both SRB and Desulfitobacterium hafniense.

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