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Title: Redox cycling of Fe(II) and Fe(III) in magnetite by Fe-metabolizing bacteria

Despite the regular occurrence of both magnetite and iron-metabolizing bacteria in the same environments, it is currently unknown whether the iron(II) and iron(III) in magnetite can be cycled between different bacteria and whether or how magnetic properties are affected by this metabolic activity. We show through magnetic and spectroscopic measurements that the phototrophic Fe(II)-oxidizer Rhodopseudomonas palustris TIE-1 can oxidize solid-phase magnetite nanoparticles using light energy, leading to a decrease in the measured magnetic susceptibility (MS). This process likely occurs at the surface and is reversible in the dark by the Fe(III)-reducer Geobacter sulfurreducens resulting in an increase in MS. These results show that iron ions bound in highly crystalline mineral magnetite are bioavailable as electron stores and electron sinks under varying environmental conditions, making magnetite a potential “biogeobattery” during day/night cycles. These findings are relevant for environmental studies and reinforce the impact of microbial redox processes on the global iron cycle.
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
48590; KP1702030
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Science, 347(6229):1473-1476
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US), Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory