Technical Comments

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

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Science  03 Jun 2011:
Vol. 332, Issue 6034, pp. 1149
DOI: 10.1126/science.1201551


Wolfe-Simon et al. (Research Articles, 3 June 2011, p. 1163; published online 2 December 2010) reported an apparent stimulatory effect of arsenic on the growth of bacteria isolated from Mono Lake, California, which they interpreted as evidence that the cells can grow by using arsenic instead of phosphorus. Alternatively, arsenic may have stimulated the bacterium’s high-affinity phosphorus assimilation pathway, which is active when phosphate levels are low.

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