PerspectiveBIOGEOCHEMISTRY

Sulfate Reducers--Dominant Players in a Low-Oxygen World?

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Science  01 Dec 2000:
Vol. 290, Issue 5497, pp. 1711-1712
DOI: 10.1126/science.290.5497.1711

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Summary

Sulfate reducing bacteria can adapt to extreme physical and chemical conditions and play an important role in global geochemical cycles, but their role in the formation of ore deposits has remained controversial. Strong support for such a role is provided by Labrenz et al. , who have discovered sulfate-reducing bacteria that can tolerate low levels of oxygen and can precipitate zinc sulfide minerals. The results may have implications for bioremediation and may provide clues to processes that may have been more widespread in the geologic past.