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Abundant and diverse arsenic‐metabolizing microorganisms in peatlands treating arsenic‐contaminated mining wastewaters

Title data

Kujala, Katharina ; Besold, Johannes ; Mikkonen, Anu ; Tiirola, Marja ; Planer-Friedrich, Britta:
Abundant and diverse arsenic‐metabolizing microorganisms in peatlands treating arsenic‐contaminated mining wastewaters.
In: Environmental Microbiology. Vol. 22 (April 2020) Issue 4 . - pp. 1572-1587.
ISSN 1462-2920
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/1462-2920.14922

Abstract in another language

Mining operations produce large quantities of wastewater. At a mine site in Northern Finland, two natural peatlands are used for the treatment of mining‐influenced waters with high concentrations of sulfate and potentially toxic arsenic (As). In the present study, As removal and the involved microbial processes in those treatment peatlands (TPs) were assessed. Arsenic‐metabolizing microorganisms were abundant in peat soil from both TPs (up to 108 cells gdw‐1), with arsenate respirers being about 100 times more abundant than arsenite oxidizers. In uninhibited microcosm incubations, supplemented arsenite was oxidized under oxic conditions and supplemented arsenate was reduced under anoxic conditions, while little to no oxidation/reduction was observed in NaN3‐inhibited microcosms, indicating high As‐turnover potential of peat microbes. Formation of thioarsenates was observed in anoxic microcosms. Sequencing of the functional genemarkers aioA (arsenite oxidizers), arrA (arsenate respirers), and arsC (detoxifying arsenate reducers) demonstrated high diversity of the As‐metabolizing microbial community. The microbial community composition differed between the two TPs, which may have affected As removal efficiencies. In the present situation, arsenate reduction is likely the dominant net process and contributes substantially to As removal. Changes in TP usage (e.g. mine closure) with lowered water tables and heightened oxygen availability in peat might lead to reoxidation and remobilization of bound arsenite.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Professor Environmental Geochemistry Group
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Professor Environmental Geochemistry Group > Professor Environmental Geochemistry - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Britta Planer-Friedrich
Research Institutions > Research Centres > Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research- BayCEER
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science > 500 Natural sciences
500 Science > 550 Earth sciences, geology
Date Deposited: 28 May 2020 07:12
Last Modified: 28 May 2020 07:12
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/55296