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Intracellular Iron Minerals in a Dissimilatory Iron-Reducing Bacterium

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Science  04 Jan 2002:
Vol. 295, Issue 5552, pp. 117-119
DOI: 10.1126/science.1066577

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Abstract

Among prokaryotes, there are few examples of controlled mineral formation; the formation of crystalline iron oxides and sulfides [magnetite (Fe3O4) or greigite (Fe3S4)] by magnetotactic bacteria is an exception. Shewanella putrefaciens CN32, a Gram-negative, facultative anaerobic bacterium that is capable of dissimilatory iron reduction, produced microscopic intracellular grains of iron oxide minerals during growth on two-line ferrihydrite in a hydrogen-argon atmosphere. The minerals, formed at iron concentrations found in the soil and sedimentary environments where these bacteria are active, could represent an unexplored pathway for the cycling of iron by bacteria.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: sglasaue{at}micro.uoguelph.ca

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