A brief review of microbial arsenate respiration

Dianne K. Newman, Dianne Ahmann, Francois M. M. Morel

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In this review, we summarize the important recent findings relating to arsenate respiration by bacteria. A brief discussion of freshwater arsenic cycling is provided, with attention placed on the microbial contributions to this cycle. The basic evidence for microbial growth on arsenate is presented for studies with both consortia and isolates, followed by a summary of the physiology and phytogeny of four arsenate-respiring bacteria: Chrysiogenes arsenatis strain BAL-1T, Desulfotomaculum auripigmentum strain OREX-4, Sulfurospirillum arsenophilus strain MIT-13, and S. barnesii strain SES-3. Drawing on biochemical studies of the arsenate reductasefrom S. barnesii strain SES-3, a preliminary model for growth on arsenate is proposed. We conclude with a discussion of the importance of microbial arsenate reduction in the environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-268
Number of pages14
JournalGeomicrobiology Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Environmental Science
  • Microbiology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Environmental Chemistry


  • Arsenate respiration
  • Arsenic
  • Biochemistry
  • Biogeochemistry
  • Biomineralization
  • Mobilization
  • Physiology


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