Jackson Estuarine Laboratory


Microbial Fe reduction in acetate- and succinate-containing enrichment cultures initiated with an estuarine sediment inoculum was studied. Fe reduction was unaffected when SO42− reduction was inhibited by MoO42−, indicating that both processes could occur independently. Bacterially produced sulfide precipitated as FeS but was not completely responsible for Fe reduction. The separation of oxidized Fe particles from bacteria by dialysis tubing demonstrated that direct bacterial contact was necessary for Fe reduction. Fe reduction in cultures amended with NO3 was delayed until NO3 and NO2 were removed. However, bacterial attachment to oxidized Fe particles in NO3-amended cultures occurred early during growth in a manner similar to NO3-free cultures. During late stages of growth, bacteria not attached to Fe particles became pale and swollen, while attached cells remained bright blue when examined by 4′,6-diamidine-2-phenylindole epifluo-rescence microscopy. The presence of added oxidized Mn had no effect on Fe reduction. The results suggested that enzymatic Fe reduction was responsible for reducing Fe in these cultures even in the presence of sulfide and that cells incapable of Fe reduction became unhealthy when Fe(III) was the only available electron acceptor.

Publication Date


Journal Title

Applied and Environmental Microbiology


American Society for Microbiology

Document Type



This is an article published by American Society for Microbiology in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, in 1986, available online: https://aem.asm.org/content/52/5/1167