Sulfate-Reducing Bacteria and Pyritic Sediments in Antarctica

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Science  21 Jul 1961:
Vol. 134, Issue 3473, pp. 190
DOI: 10.1126/science.134.3473.190


Black lacustrine and marine sediments occur in the McMurdo Sound region of Antarctica. The black color is due to the presence of iron sulfide, precipitated by sulfate-reducing bacteria (Desulfovibrio) in the presence of decaying organic matter of algal origin. Viability of sulfate-reducing bacteria in the sediments was demonstrated in the laboratory by culturing in anaerobic liquid media. It is probable that sulfate-reducing bacteria are widely distributed in Antarctica.