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Iodide Accumulation by Aerobic Bacteria Isolated from Subsurface Sediments of a 129I-Contaminated Aquifer at the Savannah River Site, South Carolina ▿

By Hsiu-Ping Li, Robin Brinkmeyer, Whitney L. Jones, Saijin Zhang, Chen Xu, Kathy A. Schwehr, Peter H. Santschi, Daniel I. Kaplan and Chris M. Yeager


129I is of major concern because of its mobility in the environment, excessive inventory, toxicity (it accumulates in the thyroid), and long half-life (∼16 million years). The aim of this study was to determine if bacteria from a 129I-contaminated oxic aquifer at the F area of the U.S. Department of Energy's Savannah River Site, SC, could accumulate iodide at environmentally relevant concentrations (0.1 μM I−). Iodide accumulation capability was found in 3 out of 136 aerobic bacterial strains isolated from the F area that were closely related to Streptomyces/Kitasatospora spp., Bacillus mycoides, and Ralstonia/Cupriavidus spp. Two previously described iodide-accumulating marine strains, a Flexibacter aggregans strain and an Arenibacter troitsensis strain, accumulated 2 to 50% total iodide (0.1 μM), whereas the F-area strains accumulated just 0.2 to 2.0%. Iodide accumulation by FA-30 was stimulated by the addition of H2O2, was not inhibited by chloride ions (27 mM), did not exhibit substrate saturation kinetics with regard to I− concentration (up to 10 μM I−), and increased at pH values of <6. Overall, the data indicate that I− accumulation likely results from electrophilic substitution of cellular organic molecules. This study demonstrates that readily culturable, aerobic bacteria of the F-area aquifer do not accumulate significant amounts of iodide; however, this mechanism may contribute to the long-term fate and transport of 129I and to the biogeochemical cycling of iodine over geologic time

Topics: Environmental Microbiology
Publisher: American Society for Microbiology (ASM)
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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