Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 141, Issue 1, pp 8–13 | Cite as

Isolation of anaerobic oxalate-degrading bacteria from freshwater lake sediments

  • Richard L. Smith
  • Frances E. Strohmaier
  • Ronald S. Oremland
Original Papers


Enrichment cultures that anaerobically degraded oxalate were obtained from lake sediment inocula. From these, 5 pure cultures of anaerobic oxalate-degrading bacteria were isolated and partially characterized. The isolates were Gram-negative, non-sporeforming, non-motile, obligate anaerobes. Oxalate was required for growth and was stoichiometrically converted to formate; 14CO2 was also recovered when 14C-oxalate was added. Maximal growth occurred when the oxalate concentration was 50 mM. Acetate stimulated growth in the presence of oxalate, however, 14C-experiments indicated that acetate was only utilized for cell carbon.

The isolates were either spiral-shaped or rod-shaped organisms. The first morphotype grew much more slowly than the second and exhibited 13-fold lower cell yields. These isolates represent a new strain of oxalate-degrading bacteria. The second morphotype was similar to the anaerobic oxalate-degrading bacteria previously found in rumen. This report extends the known habitats in which anaerobic oxalate-degrading organisms have been found to include aquatic sediments.

Key words

Oxalate Oxalate-degrading bacteria Freshwater sediments 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard L. Smith
    • 1
  • Frances E. Strohmaier
    • 1
  • Ronald S. Oremland
    • 1
  1. 1.Water Resources DivisionU.S. Geological SurveyMenlo ParkUSA

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