Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 159, Issue 4, pp 336–344

Geobacter metallireducens gen. nov. sp. nov., a microorganism capable of coupling the complete oxidation of organic compounds to the reduction of iron and other metals


  • D. R. Lovley
    • Water Resources Division, 430 National CenterU.S. Geological Survey
  • S. J. Giovannoni
    • Department of MicrobiologyOregon State University
  • D. C. White
    • Center for Environmental BiotechnologyUniversity of Tennessee
  • J. E. Champine
    • Department of MicrobiologyUniversity of Massachusetts
  • E. J. P. Phillips
    • Water Resources Division, 430 National CenterU.S. Geological Survey
  • Y. A. Gorby
    • Water Resources Division, 430 National CenterU.S. Geological Survey
  • S. Goodwin
    • Department of MicrobiologyUniversity of Massachusetts
Original Papers

DOI: 10.1007/BF00290916

Cite this article as:
Lovley, D.R., Giovannoni, S.J., White, D.C. et al. Arch. Microbiol. (1993) 159: 336. doi:10.1007/BF00290916


The gram-negative metal-reducing microorganism, previously known as strain GS-15, was further characterized. This strict anaerobe oxidizes several short-chain fatty acids, alcohols, and monoaromatic compounds with Fe(III) as the sole electron acceptor. Furthermore, acetate is also oxidized with the reduction of Mn (IV), U (VI), and nitrate. In whole cell suspensions, the c-type cytochrome(s) of this organism was oxidized by physiological electron acceptors and also by gold, silver, mercury, and chromate. Menaquinone was recovered in concentrations comparable to those previously found in gram-negative sulfate reducers. Profiles of the phospholipid ester-linked fatty acids indicated that both the anaerobic desaturase and the branched pathways for fatty acid biosynthesis were operative. The organism contained three lipopolysaccharide hydroxy fatty acids which have not been previously reported in microorganisms, but have been observed in anaerobic freshwater sediments. The 16S rRNA sequence indicated that this organism belongs in the delta proteobacteria. Its closest known relative is Desulfuromonas acetoxidans. The name Geobacter metallireducens is proposed.

Key words

IronUraniumManganeseNitrateAnaerobic sedimentsDelta proteobacteriaAromaticsHeavy metals

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993