XAS analysis of a nanostructured iron polysaccharide produced anaerobically by a strain of Klebsiella oxytoca
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A strain of Klebsiella oxytoca, isolated from acid pyrite-mine drainage, characteristically produces a ferric hydrogel, consisting of branched heptasaccharide repeating units exopolysaccharide (EPS), with metal content of 36 wt%. The high content of iron in the EPS matrix cannot be explained by a simple ferric ion bond to the sugar skeleton. The bio-generated Fe–EPS is investigated by X-ray absorption spectroscopy. Fe K-edge XANES analysis shows that iron is mostly in trivalent form, with a non-negligible amount of Fe2+ in the structure. The Fe EXAFS results indicate that iron in the sample is in a mineralized form, prevalently in the form of nano-sized particles of iron oxides/hydroxides, most probably a mixture of different nano-crystalline forms. TEM shows that these nanoparticles are located in the interior of the EPS matrix, as in ferritin. The strain produces Fe–EPS to modulate Fe-ions uptake from the cytoplasm to avoid iron toxicity under anaerobic conditions. This microbial material is potentially applicable as iron regulator.
KeywordsAnaerobic growth Citrate fermentation Fe–EPS Fe K-edge XANES EXAFS
This research was supported by the Slovenian Research Agency (P1-0112). Access to synchrotron radiation facilities of ELETTRA (beamline XAFS) is acknowledged. Giuliana Aquilanti and Luca Olivi of ELETTRA are acknowledged for expert advice on beamline operation.