BACGROUND: Biological iron redox transformation alters iron minerals, which may act as effective adsorbents for arsenate [As(V)] in the environments. In the viewpoint of alleviating arsenate, microbial Fe(III) reduction was sought under high concentration of As(V). In this study, Fe(III)-reducing bacteria were isolated from the wild plant rhizosphere soils collected at abandoned mine areas, which showed tolerance to high concentration of As(V), in pursuit of potential agents for As(V) bioremediation.
METHODS AND RESULTS: Bacterial isolation was performed by a series of enrichment, transfer, and dilutions. Among the isolated strains, two strains (JSAR-1 and JSAR-3) with abilities of tolerance to 10 mM As(V) and Fe(III) reduction were selected. Phylogenetic analysis using 16S rRNA gene sequences indicated the closest members of Pseudomonas stutzeri DSM 5190 and Paenibacillus selenii W126, respectively for JSAR-1 and JSAR-3. Ferric and ferrous iron concentrations were measured by ferrozine assay, and arsenic concentration was analyzed by ICP-AES, suggesting inability of As(V) reduction whereas ability of Fe(III) reduction.
CONCLUSION: Fe(III)-reducing bacteria isolated from the enrichments with arsenate and ferric iron were found to be resistant to a high concentration of As(III) at 10 mM. We suppose that those kinds of microorganisms may suggest good application potentials for As(V) bioremediation, since the bacteria can transform Fe while surviving under As-contaminated environments. The isolated Fe(III)-reducing bacterial strains could contribute to transformations of iron minerals which may act as effective adsorbents for arsenate, and therefore contribute to As(V) immobilization.