, Volume 1, Issue 6, pp 383-388

The relationship between hydrogen metabolism, sulfate reduction and nitrogen fixation in sulfate reducers

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Hydrogenase and nitrogenase activities of sulfate-reducing bacteria allow their adaptation to different nutritional habits even under adverse conditions. These exceptional capabilities of adaptation are important factors in the understanding of their predominant role in problems related to anaerobic metal corrosion. Although the D2−H+ exchange reaction indicated thatDesulfovibrio desulfuricans strain Berre-Sol andDesulfovibrio gigas hydrogenases were reversible, the predominant activity in vivo was hydrogen uptake. Hydrogen production was restricted to some particular conditions such as sulfate or nitrogen starvation. Under diazotrophic conditions, a transient hydrogen evolution was followed by uptake when dinitrogen was effectively fixed. In contrast, hydrogen evolution proceeded when acetylene was substituted as the nitrogenase substrate. Hydrogen can thus serve as an electron donor in sulfate reduction and nitrogen metabolism.