The stimulation of bacteria capable of reducing soluble U(VI) to sparingly soluble U(IV) is a promising approach for containing U(VI) plumes. Anaeromyxobacter dehalogenans is capable of mediating this activity; however, its ability to couple U(VI) reduction to growth has not been established. Monitoring the increase in 16S rRNA gene copy numbers using quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) in cultures provided with U(VI) as an electron acceptor demonstrated growth, and 7.7-8.6 × 106 cells were produced per μmole of U(VI) reduced. This biomass yield was lower than predicted based on the theoretical free energy changes associated with U(VI)-to-U(IV) reduction. Lower than predicted growth yields with U(VI) as electron acceptor were also determined in cultures of Geobacter lovleyi and Geobacter sulfurreducens suggesting that U(VI) reduction is inefficient or imposes an additional cost to growing cells. These findings have implications for U(VI) bioremediation because Anaeromyxobacter spp. and Geobacter spp. contribute to radionuclide immobilization in contaminated subsurface environments.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics