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Abundance and diversity of sulfate-reducing bacteria in high arsenic shallow aquifers

Li, Ping, Li, Bing, Webster, Gordon ORCID:, Wang, Yanhong, Jiang, Dawei, Dai, Xinyue, Jiang, Zhou, Dong, Hailiang and Wang, Yanxin 2014. Abundance and diversity of sulfate-reducing bacteria in high arsenic shallow aquifers. Geomicrobiology Journal 31 (9) , pp. 802-812. 10.1080/01490451.2014.893181

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The abundance, diversity, and relative distribution of sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) in high arsenic (As) groundwater aquifers of Hangjinhouqi County in the Hetao Basin, Inner Mongolia was investigated using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) analysis of dsrB genes (encoding dissimilatory sulfite reductase beta-subunit). DGGE results revealed that SRB populations were diverse, but were mainly composed of Desulfotomaculum, Desulfobulbus, Desulfosarcina, and Desulfobacca. The abundance of Desulfobulbus was positively correlated with the ratio of Fe(II)/Fe(III). Although qPCR results showed that the dsrB gene abundance in groundwater samples ranged from below detection to 4.9 × 106 copies/L, and the highest percentage of dsrB gene copies to bacterial 16S rRNA gene copies was 2.1%. Geochemical analyses showed that As(III) content and the ratio of Fe(II) to Fe(III) increased with total As, while sulfate concentrations decreased. Interestingly, the dsrB gene abundance was positively correlated with As concentrations. These results indicate that sulfate reduction occurs simultaneously with As and Fe reduction, and might result in increased As release and mobilization when As is not incorporated into iron sulfides. This study improves our understanding of SRB and As cycling in high As groundwater systems.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 0149-0451
Date of Acceptance: 1 February 2014
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2022 10:21

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