, Volume 18, Issue 6, pp 1067–1073 | Cite as

Acidibacter ferrireducens gen. nov., sp. nov.: an acidophilic ferric iron-reducing gammaproteobacterium

  • Carmen Falagán
  • D. Barrie Johnson
Original Paper


An acidophilic gammaproteobacterium, isolated from a pit lake at an abandoned metal mine in south-west Spain, was shown to be distantly related to all characterized prokaryotes, and to be the first representative of a novel genus and species. Isolate MCF85 is a Gram-negative, non-motile, rod-shaped mesophilic bacterium with a temperature growth optimum of 32–35 °C (range 8–45 °C). It was categorized as a moderate acidophile, growing optimally at pH 3.5–4.0 and between pH 2.5 and 4.5. Under optimum conditions its culture doubling time was around 75 min. Only organic electron donors were used by MCF85, and the isolate was confirmed to be an obligate heterotroph. It grew on a limited range of sugars (hexoses and disaccharides, though not pentoses) and some other small molecular weight organic compounds, and growth was partially or completely inhibited by small concentrations of some aliphatic acids. The acidophile grew in the presence of >100 mM ferrous iron or aluminium, but was more sensitive to some other metals, such as copper. It was also much more tolerant of arsenic (V) than arsenic (III). Isolate MCF85 catalysed the reductive dissolution of the ferric iron mineral schwertmannite when incubated under micro-aerobic or anaerobic conditions, causing the culture media pH to increase. There was no evidence, however, that the acidophile could grow by ferric iron respiration under strictly anoxic conditions. Isolate MCF85 is the designated type strain of the novel species Acidibacter ferrireducens (=DSM 27237T = NCCB 100460T).


Acidophile Acidibacter ferrireducens Gammaproteobacteria Heterotroph Iron reduction 



This study was funded by the program “The Functionality of Iron Minerals and Environmental Processes” (FIMIN) of the European Science Foundation and the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (project reference number CGL2009-09070).


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Natural SciencesBangor UniversityBangorUK
  2. 2.Instituto Geológico y Minero de EspañaMadridSpain

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