Reevaluation of colorimetric iron determination methods commonly used in geomicrobiology
ABSTRACT The ferrozine and phenanthroline colorimetric assays are commonly applied for the determination of ferrous and total iron concentrations in geomicrobiological studies. However, accuracy of both methods depends on slight changes in their protocols, on the investigated iron species, and on geochemical variations in sample conditions. Therefore, we tested the performance of both methods using Fe(II)((aq)), Fe(III)((aq)), mixed valence solutions, synthetic goethite, ferrihydrite, and pyrite, as well as microbially-formed magnetite and a mixture of goethite and magnetite. The results were compared to concentrations determined with aqua regia dissolution and inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES). Iron dissolution prior to the photometric assays included dissolution in 1M or 6M HCl, at 21 or 60°C, and oxic or anoxic conditions. Results indicated a good reproducibility of quantitative total iron determinations by the ferrozine and phenanthroline assays for easily soluble iron forms such as Fe(II)((aq)), Fe(III)((aq)), mixed valence solutions, and ferrihydrite. The ferrozine test underestimated total iron contents of some of these samples after dissolution in 1M HCl by 10 to 13%, whereas phenanthroline matched the results determined by ICP-AES with a deviation of 5%. Total iron concentrations after dissolution in 1M HCl of highly crystalline oxides such as magnetite, a mixture of goethite and magnetite, and goethite were underestimated by up to 95% with both methods. When dissolving these minerals in 6M HCl at 60°C, the ferrozine method was more reliable for total iron content with an accuracy of ±5%, related to values determined with ICP-AES. Phenanthroline was more reliable for the determination of total pyritic iron as well as ferrous iron after incubation in 1M HCl at 21°C in the Fe(II)((aq)) sample with a recovery of 98%. Low ferrous iron concentrations of less than 0.5mM were overestimated in a Fe(III) background by up to 150% by both methods. Heating of mineral samples in 6M HCl increased their solubility and susceptibility for both photometric assays which is a need for total iron determination of highly crystalline minerals. However, heating also rendered a subsequent reliable determination of ferrous iron impossible due to fast abiotic oxidation. Due to the low solubility of highly crystalline samples, the determination of total iron is solely possible after dissolution in 6M HCl at 60°C which on the other hand makes determination of ferrous iron impossible. The recommended procedure for ferrous iron determination is therefore incubation at 21°C in 6M HCl, centrifugation, and subsequent measurement of ferrous iron in the supernatant. The different procedures were tested during growth of G. sulfurreducens on synthetic ferrihydrite. Here, the phenanthroline test was more accurate compared to the ferrozine test. However, the latter provided easy handling and seemed preferable for larger amounts of samples.
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ABSTRACT: Organically enriched sediment has been found in water environments. The tsunami originating from the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011 deposited large amount of sediment, thus providing evidence about its huge accumulation in coastal marine areas possibly due to human activities such as fish culture and marine product processing of industries. Here, degradation potential of organically enriched sediment deposited on a coastal site at Higashi-Matsushima, Miyagi, Japan was investigated under both sulfate- and iron-reducing conditions. Sediment slurry was prepared by mixing the sediment with artificial seawater. The effects of supplementation with sulfate and lepidocrocite (a crystalline Fe[III] oxide) on the structure and activity of the slurry microorganisms were examined by the combined physicochemical analyses and 16S rRNA deep sequencing. The sediment slurry was incubated for 5 days, during which the concentrations of TOC, sulfate, and ferrous iron remained at constant levels and the TG-DTA patterns did not change. The composition of dominant members of the microbial communities was stable, although the rare microbial populations slightly changed. The result in this study revealed that the organically enriched sediment was resistant to biodegradation under the sulfate- and iron-reducing conditions.Journal of Water and Environment Technology 08/2014; 12(4):357-366. DOI:10.2965/jwet.2014.357
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ABSTRACT: For microorganisms that play an important role in bioremediation, the adaptation to swift changes in the availability of various substrates is a key for survival. The iron-reducing bacterium Geobacter metallireducens was hypothesized to repress utilization of less preferred substrates in the presence of high concentrations of easily degradable compounds. In our experiments, acetate and ethanol were preferred over benzoate, but benzoate was co-consumed with toluene and butyrate. To reveal overall physiological changes caused by different single substrates and a mixture of acetate plus benzoate, a nano-liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry-based proteomic approach (nano-LC–MS/MS) was performed using label-free quantification. Significant differential expression during growth on different substrates was observed for 155 out of 1477 proteins. The benzoyl-CoA pathway was found to be subjected to incomplete repression during exponential growth on acetate in the presence of benzoate and on butyrate as a single substrate. Peripheral pathways of toluene, ethanol, and butyrate degradation were highly expressed only during growth on the corresponding substrates. However, low expression of these pathways was detected in all other tested conditions. Therefore, G. metallireducens seems to lack strong carbon catabolite repression under high substrate concentrations, which might be advantageous for survival in habitats rich in fatty acids and aromatic hydrocarbons.Systematic and Applied Microbiology 06/2014; 37(4). DOI:10.1016/j.syapm.2014.02.004 · 3.31 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Although environmental stimuli are known to affect the structure and function of microbial communities, their impact on the metabolic network of microorganisms has not been well investigated. Here, geochemical analyses, high-throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA genes and transcripts, and isolation of potentially relevant bacteria were carried out to elucidate the anaerobic respiration processes stimulated by nitrate (20 mM) amendment of marine sediments. Marine sediments deposited by the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011 were incubated anaerobically in the dark at 25°C for 5 days. Nitrate in slurry water decreased gradually for 2 days, then more rapidly until its complete depletion at day 5; production of N2O followed the same pattern. From day 2 to 5, the sulfate concentration increased and the sulfur content in solid-phase sediments significantly decreased. These results indicated that denitrification and sulfur oxidation occurred simultaneously. Illumina sequencing revealed the proliferation of known sulfur oxidizers, i.e., Sulfurimonas spp. and Chromatiales bacteria, which accounted for approximately 43.5% and 14.8% of the total population at day 5, respectively. They also expressed 16S rRNA to a considerable extent, whereas the other microorganisms, e.g., iron(III) reducers and methanogens, became metabolically active at the end of the incubation. Extinction dilution culture in a basal-salts medium supplemented with sulfur compounds and nitrate successfully isolated the predominant sulfur oxidizers: Sulfurimonas sp. strain HDS01 and Thioalkalispira sp. strain HDS22. Their 16S rRNA genes showed 95.2−96.7% sequence similarity to the closest cultured relatives and they grew chemolithotrophically on nitrate and sulfur. Novel sulfur-oxidizing bacteria were thus directly involved in carbon fixation under nitrate-reducing conditions, activating anaerobic respiration processes and the reorganization of microbial communities in the deposited marine sediments.Frontiers in Microbiology 04/2015; 6. DOI:10.3389/fmicb.2015.00426 · 3.94 Impact Factor