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Microsc Microanal. 2001 Nov;7(6):470-485.

In Situ Environmental Cell-Transmission Electron Microscopy Study of Microbial Reduction of Chromium(VI) Using Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy.

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Marine Geosciences Division, Naval Research Laboratory, Stennis Space Center, MS 39529.


Reduction of Cr(VI) by the bacterium, Shewanella oneidensis (previously classified Shewanella putrefaciens strain MR-1), was studied by absorption spectrophotometry and in situ, environmental cell-transmission electron microscopy (EC-TEM) coupled with electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS). Bacteria from rinsed cultures were placed directly in the environmental cell of the transmission electron microscope and examined under 100 Torr pressure. Bright field EC-TEM images show two distinct populations of S. oneidensis in incubated cultures containing Cr(VI)O2- 4: those that exhibit low image contrast and heavily precipitate-encrusted cells exhibiting high image contrast. Several EELS techniques were applied to determine the oxidation state of Cr associated with encrusted cells. The encrusted cells are shown to contain a reduced form of Cr in oxidation state +3 or lower. These results demonstrate the capability to determine the chemistry and valence state of reduction products associated with unfixed, hydrated bacteria in an environmental cell transmission electron microscope.


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