Technical Comments

Comment on “A Bacterium That Can Grow by Using Arsenic Instead of Phosphorus”

Science  03 Jun 2011:
Vol. 332, Issue 6034, pp. 1149
DOI: 10.1126/science.1201438

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Abstract

Wolfe-Simon et al. (Research Articles, 3 June 2011, p. 1163; published online 2 December 2010) argued that the bacterial strain GFAJ-1 can vary the elemental composition of its biomolecules by substituting arsenic for phosphorus. Although their data show that GFAJ-1 is an extraordinary extremophile, consideration of arsenate redox chemistry undermines the suggestion that arsenate can replace the physiologic functions of phosphate.

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