Interactions Between Fe(III)-oxides and Fe(III)-phyllosilicates During Microbial Reduction 2: Natural Subsurface Sediments

T. Wu, A. M. Griffin, C. A. Gorski, E. S. Shelobolina, H. Xu, R. K. Kukkadapu, E. E. Roden

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13 Scopus citations


Dissimilatory microbial reduction of solid-phase Fe(III)-oxides and Fe(III)-bearing phyllosilicates (Fe(III)-phyllosilicates) is an important process in anoxic soils, sediments and subsurface materials. Although various studies have documented the relative extent of microbial reduction of single-phase Fe(III)-oxides and Fe(III)-phyllosilicates, detailed information is not available on interaction between these two processes in situations where both phases are available for microbial reduction. The goal of this research was to use the model dissimilatory iron-reducing bacterium (DIRB) Geobacter sulfurreducens to study Fe(III)-oxide vs. Fe(III)-phyllosilicate reduction in a range of subsurface materials and Fe(III)-oxide stripped versions of the materials. Low-temperature (12 K) Mossbauer spectroscopy was used to infer changes in the relative abundances of Fe(III)-oxide, Fe(III)-phyllosilicate, and phyllosilicate-associated Fe(II) (Fe(II) phyllosilicate). A Fe partitioning model was employed to analyze the fate of Fe(II) and assess the potential for abiotic Fe(II)-catalyzed reduction of Fe(III)-phyllosilicates. The results showed that in most cases Fe(III)-oxide utilization dominated (70–100%) bulk Fe(III) reduction activity, and that electron transfer from oxide-derived Fe(II) played only a minor role (ca. 10–20%) in Fe partitioning. In addition, the extent of Fe(III)-oxide reduction was positively correlated to surface area-normalized cation exchange capacity and the Fe(III)-phyllosilicate/total Fe(III) ratio. This finding suggests that the phyllosilicates in the natural sediments promoted Fe(III)-oxide reduction by binding of oxide-derived Fe(II), thereby enhancing Fe(III)-oxide reduction by reducing or delaying the inhibitory effect that Fe(II) accumulation on oxide and DIRB cell surfaces has on Fe(III)-oxide reduction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-241
Number of pages11
JournalGeomicrobiology Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 16 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Environmental Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


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