Current Microbiology

, Volume 54, Issue 5, pp 376–381

An Azospira oryzae (syn Dechlorosoma suillum) Strain That Reduces Selenate and Selenite to Elemental Red Selenium


DOI: 10.1007/s00284-006-0474-y

Cite this article as:
Hunter, W.J. Curr Microbiol (2007) 54: 376. doi:10.1007/s00284-006-0474-y


A bacterium that reduces the soluble selenium oxyanions, selenate and selenite, to insoluble elemental red selenium (Se0) was isolated from a laboratory reactor developed to remove selenate from groundwater. Gene sequence alignment of the 16S rRNA allowed identification of the isolate as Azospira oryzae. Biochemical and morphologic characterization confirm the identification. The isolate reduces selenate and selenite to Se0 under microaerophilic and denitrifying conditions but not under aerobic conditions. It does not use selenate or selenite as terminal e¯ donors. Se oxyanion reduction causes the formation of Se nanospheres that are 0.25 ± 0.04 μm in diameter. Nanospheres may be associated with the cells or free in the medium. The enzymatic activity associated with the reduction of selenate has a molecular mass of approximately 500 kD, and the enzymatic activity associated with the reduction of selenite has a mass of approximately 55 kD. Selenite reduction was inhibited by tungsten. The molecular masses of these activities were different from those associated with the reduction of dimethylsulfoxide, sulfate, and nitrite. This bacterium, or perhaps its enzymes or DNA, might be useful for the remediation of waters contaminated with Se oxyanions.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.United States Department of AgricultureAgricultural Research ServiceFort CollinsUSA

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