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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2005 Aug;71(8):4487-96.

Isolation and characterization of a genetically tractable photoautotrophic Fe(II)-oxidizing bacterium, Rhodopseudomonas palustris strain TIE-1.

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California Institute of Technology, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, Mail Stop 100-23, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA.


We report the isolation and characterization of a phototrophic ferrous iron [Fe(II)]-oxidizing bacterium named TIE-1 that differs from other Fe(II)-oxidizing phototrophs in that it is genetically tractable. Under anaerobic conditions, TIE-1 grows photoautotrophically with Fe(II), H2, or thiosulfate as the electron donor and photoheterotrophically with a variety of organic carbon sources. TIE-1 also grows chemoheterotrophically in the dark. This isolate appears to be a new strain of the purple nonsulfur bacterial species Rhodopseudomonas palustris, based on physiological and phylogenetic analysis. Fe(II) oxidation is optimal at pH 6.5 to 6.9. The mineral products of Fe(II) oxidation are pH dependent: below pH 7.0 goethite (alpha-FeOOH) forms, and above pH 7.2 magnetite (Fe3O4) forms. TIE-1 forms colonies on agar plates and is sensitive to a variety of antibiotics. A hyperactive mariner transposon is capable of random insertion into the chromosome with a transposition frequency of approximately 10(-5). To identify components involved in phototrophic Fe(II) oxidation, mutants of TIE-1 were generated by transposon mutagenesis and screened for defects in Fe(II) oxidation in a cell suspension assay. Among approximately 12,000 mutants screened, 6 were identified that are specifically impaired in Fe(II) oxidation. Five of these mutants have independent disruptions in a gene that is predicted to encode an integral membrane protein that appears to be part of an ABC transport system; the sixth mutant has an insertion in a gene that is a homolog of CobS, an enzyme involved in cobalamin (vitamin B12) biosynthesis.

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