Technical Comments

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

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Science  27 May 2011:
1201438
DOI: 10.1126/science.1201438

Abstract

Wolfe-Simon et al. (Science Express Research Article, published online 2 December 2010; 10.1126/science.1197258) 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.