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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1999 Jun;65(6):2758-61.

Iron-oxidizing bacteria are associated with ferric hydroxide precipitates (Fe-plaque) on the roots of wetland plants

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American Type Culture Collection, Manassas, Virginia.


The presence of Fe-oxidizing bacteria in the rhizosphere of four different species of wetland plants was investigated in a diverse wetland environment that had Fe(II) concentrations ranging from tens to hundreds of micromoles per liter and a pH range of 3.5 to 6.8. Enrichments for neutrophilic, putatively lithotrophic Fe-oxidizing bacteria were successful on roots from all four species; acidophilic Fe-oxidizing bacteria were enriched only on roots from plants whose root systems were exposed to soil solutions with a pH of <4. In Sagittaria australis there was a positive correlation (P < 0.01) between cell numbers and the total amount of Fe present; the same correlation was not found for Leersia oryzoides. These results present the first evidence for culturable Fe-oxidizing bacteria associated with Fe-plaque in the rhizosphere.

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