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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2001 Nov 13;204(2):335-40.

Arsenite oxidation and arsenate respiration by a new Thermus isolate.

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Department of Geology and Geophysics, The University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA.


A new microbial strain was isolated from an arsenic-rich terrestrial geothermal environment. The isolate, designated HR13, was identified as a Thermus species based on 16S rDNA phylogenetic relationships and close sequence similarity within the Thermus genus. Under aerobic conditions, Thermus HR13 was capable of rapidly oxidizing inorganic As(III) to As(V). As(III) was oxidized at a rate approximately 100-fold greater than abiotic rates. Metabolic energy was not gained from the oxidation reaction. In the absence of oxygen, Thermus HR13 grew by As(V) respiration coupled with lactate oxidation. The ability to oxidize and reduce arsenic has not been previously described within the Thermus genus.

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