Journal Article

Dissimilatory Fe(III) reduction by <i>Clostridium beijerinckii</i> isolated from freshwater sediment using Fe(III) maltol enrichment

Paul S. Dobbin, Jon P. Carter, Carlos García-Salamanca San Juan, Marc von Hobe, Anne K. Powell and David J. Richardson

in FEMS Microbiology Letters

Volume 176, issue 1, pages 131-138
Published in print July 1999 |
Published online January 2006 | e-ISSN: 1574-6968 | DOI:

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A microorganism which reduces Fe(III) during the fermentation of glucose was isolated from freshwater sediment. The Fe(III) was supplied to enrichment cultures as a soluble complex with the bidentate ligand maltol (3-hydroxy-2-methyl-4-pyrone). Advantages that were afforded by the use of Fe(III)(maltol)3 over previously published methods included negation of the requirement for assays of Fe(II) formation. Because Fe(III)(maltol)3 has a characteristic deep red colour, Fe(III) reduction could be quantified spectrophotometrically by monitoring the disappearance of the complex in liquid cultures. Furthermore, Fe(III) reduction on agar plates containing the complex was apparent by zones of decolourisation around the bacterial colonies. 16S rRNA gene sequencing indicated the isolate to be a strain of Clostridium beijerinckii. Growth experiments were performed on the isolate in batch cultures with varying concentrations of Fe(III) citrate and 50 mM glucose. Increasing the level of Fe(III) citrate present was found to alter the fermentation balance, with less acidic products being formed. The presence of Fe(III) led to increases in the growth rate and growth yield, which were both approximately doubled when the supply of the cation reached 25 mM. A NAD(P)H-dependent Fe(III) reductase activity was localised to the bacterial membrane and found not to be sensitive to respiratory inhibitors. Taken together, these data suggest that dissimilatory Fe(III) reduction by the isolate provides a means of utilising the cation as an electron sink, thus facilitating pyridine nucleotide to be recycled during fermentative metabolism.

Keywords: Dissimilatory iron reduction; Fermentative metabolism; Clostridium beijerinckii; Maltol

Journal Article.  3975 words.  Illustrated.

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