Autotrophic microbial arsenotrophy in arsenic-rich soda lakes

FEMS Microbiology Letters
By: , and 



A number of prokaryotes are capable of employing arsenic oxy-anions as either electron acceptors [arsenate; As(V)] or electron donors [arsenite; As(III)] to sustain arsenic-dependent growth (‘arsenotrophy’). A subset of these microorganisms function as either chemoautotrophs or photoautotrophs, whereby they gain sufficient energy from their redox metabolism of arsenic to completely satisfy their carbon needs for growth by autotrophy, that is the fixation of inorganic carbon (e.g. HCO3) into their biomass. Here we review what has been learned of these processes by investigations we have undertaken in three soda lakes of the western USA and from the physiological characterizations of the relevant bacteria, which include the critical genes involved, such as respiratory arsenate reductase (arrA) and the discovery of its arsenite-oxidizing counterpart (arxA). When possible, we refer to instances of similar process occurring in other, less extreme ecosystems and by microbes other than haloalkaliphiles.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Autotrophic microbial arsenotrophy in arsenic-rich soda lakes
Series title FEMS Microbiology Letters
DOI 10.1093/femsle/fnx146
Volume 364
Issue 15
Year Published 2017
Language English
Publisher Oxford Academic
Contributing office(s) National Research Program - Western Branch
Description Article fnx146
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details