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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2000 Jun;66(6):2451-60.

Effect of electron donor and solution chemistry on products of dissimilatory reduction of technetium by Shewanella putrefaciens.

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  • 1Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington 99352, USA.


To help provide a fundamental basis for use of microbial dissimilatory reduction processes in separating or immobilizing (99)Tc in waste or groundwaters, the effects of electron donor and the presence of the bicarbonate ion on the rate and extent of pertechnetate ion [Tc(VII)O(4)(-)] enzymatic reduction by the subsurface metal-reducing bacterium Shewanella putrefaciens CN32 were determined, and the forms of aqueous and solid-phase reduction products were evaluated through a combination of high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, X-ray absorption spectroscopy, and thermodynamic calculations. When H(2) served as the electron donor, dissolved Tc(VII) was rapidly reduced to amorphous Tc(IV) hydrous oxide, which was largely associated with the cell in unbuffered 0. 85% NaCl and with extracellular particulates (0.2 to 0.001 microm) in bicarbonate buffer. Cell-associated Tc was present principally in the periplasm and outside the outer membrane. The reduction rate was much lower when lactate was the electron donor, with extracellular Tc(IV) hydrous oxide the dominant solid-phase reduction product, but in bicarbonate systems much less Tc(IV) was associated directly with the cell and solid-phase Tc(IV) carbonate may have been present. In the presence of carbonate, soluble (<0.001 microm) electronegative, Tc(IV) carbonate complexes were also formed that exceeded Tc(VII)O(4)(-) in electrophoretic mobility. Thermodynamic calculations indicate that the dominant reduced Tc species identified in the experiments would be stable over a range of E(h) and pH conditions typical of natural waters. Thus, carbonate complexes may represent an important pathway for Tc transport in anaerobic subsurface environments, where it has generally been assumed that Tc mobility is controlled by low-solubility Tc(IV) hydrous oxide and adsorptive, aqueous Tc(IV) hydrolysis products.

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