Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 159, Issue 4, pp 336–344 | Cite as

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
  • S. J. Giovannoni
  • D. C. White
  • J. E. Champine
  • E. J. P. Phillips
  • Y. A. Gorby
  • S. Goodwin
Original Papers


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

Iron Uranium Manganese Nitrate Anaerobic sediments Delta proteobacteria Aromatics Heavy metals 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. R. Lovley
    • 1
  • S. J. Giovannoni
    • 2
  • D. C. White
    • 3
  • J. E. Champine
    • 4
  • E. J. P. Phillips
    • 1
  • Y. A. Gorby
    • 1
  • S. Goodwin
    • 4
  1. 1.Water Resources Division, 430 National CenterU.S. Geological SurveyRestonUSA
  2. 2.Department of MicrobiologyOregon State UniversityCorvallisUSA
  3. 3.Center for Environmental BiotechnologyUniversity of TennesseeKnoxvilleUSA
  4. 4.Department of MicrobiologyUniversity of MassachusettsAmherstUSA

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