Reference Work Entry

The Prokaryotes

pp 635-658

Dissimilatory Fe(III)- and Mn(IV)-Reducing Prokaryotes

  • Derek Lovley

Introduction

Dissimilatory Fe(III) reduction is the process in which microorganisms transfer electrons to external ferric iron [Fe(III)], reducing it to ferrous iron [Fe(II)] without assimilating the iron. A wide phylogenetic diversity of microorganisms, including archaea as well as bacteria, are capable of dissimilatory Fe(III) reduction. Most microorganisms that reduce Fe(III) also can transfer electrons to Mn(IV), reducing it to Mn(II).

As detailed in the next section, dissimilatory Fe(III) and Mn(IV) reduction is one of the most geochemically significant events that naturally takes place in soils, aquatic sediments, and subsurface environments. Dissimilatory Fe(III) and Mn(IV) reduction has a major influence not only on the distribution of iron and manganese, but also on the fate of a variety of other trace metals and nutrients, and it plays an important role in degradation of organic matter. Furthermore, dissimilatory Fe(III)-reducing microorganisms show promise as useful agents for ...

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