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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1988 Oct;54(10):2591-3.

Selenate reduction by bacteria from a selenium-rich environment.

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  • 1Idaho National Engineering Laboratory, Idaho Falls 83415-2203.


Samples collected from Kesterson Reservoir were screened for bacterial presence and selenate reduction capability. Selenate concentrations of 100 mg/liter were not toxic to indigenous bacteria. Of the 44 samples collected, 20 possessed microbial populations capable of reducing selenate. Reduction was observed in 4% of the water samples, 92% of the sediment samples, and 100% of the soil samples. Microbial reduction of 100 mg of selenate per liter was complete within 1 week of incubation. Up to 75 mg of selenate per liter was reduced beyond selenite to an insoluble red precipitate. Data collected indicate that indigenous bacteria have a significant role in the biogeochemical cycling of selenium.

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