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J Inorg Biochem. 2007 Nov;101(11-12):1760-7. Epub 2007 Jul 25.

Shewanella putrefaciens produces an Fe(III)-solubilizing organic ligand during anaerobic respiration on insoluble Fe(III) oxides.

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School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332-0340, USA.


The mechanism of Fe(III) reduction was investigated using voltammetric techniques in anaerobic incubations of Shewanella putrefaciens strain 200 supplemented with Fe(III) citrate or a suite of Fe(III) oxides as terminal electron acceptor. Results indicate that organic complexes of Fe(III) are produced during the reduction of Fe(III) at rates that correlate with the reactivity of the Fe(III) phase and bacterial cell density. Anaerobic Fe(III) solubilization activity is detected with either Fe(III) oxides or Fe(III) citrate, suggesting that the organic ligand produced is strong enough to destabilize Fe(III) from soluble or solid Fe(III) substrates. Results also demonstrate that Fe(III) oxide dissolution is not controlled by the intrinsic chemical reactivity of the Fe(III) oxides. Instead, the chemical reaction between the endogenous organic ligand is only affected by the number of reactive surface sites available to S. putrefaciens. This report describes the first application of voltammetric techniques to demonstrate production of soluble organic-Fe(III) complexes by any Fe(III)-reducing microorganism and is the first report of a Fe(III)-solubilizing ligand generated by a metal-reducing member of the genus Shewanella.

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