Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 199, Issue 2, pp 191–201 | Cite as

An arsenate-reducing and alkane-metabolizing novel bacterium, Rhizobium arsenicireducens sp. nov., isolated from arsenic-rich groundwater

  • Balaram Mohapatra
  • Angana Sarkar
  • Swati Joshi
  • Atrayee Chatterjee
  • Sufia Khannam Kazy
  • Mrinal Kumar Maiti
  • Tulasi Satyanarayana
  • Pinaki SarEmail author
Original Paper


A novel arsenic (As)-resistant, arsenate-respiring, alkane-metabolizing bacterium KAs 5-22T, isolated from As-rich groundwater of West Bengal was characterized by physiological and genomic properties. Cells of strain KAs 5-22T were Gram-stain-negative, rod-shaped, motile, and facultative anaerobic. Growth occurred at optimum of pH 6.0–7.0, temperature 30 °C. 16S rRNA gene affiliated the strain KAs 5-22T to the genus Rhizobium showing maximum similarity (98.4 %) with the type strain of Rhizobium naphthalenivorans TSY03bT followed by (98.0 % similarity) Rhizobium selenitireducens B1T. The genomic G + C content was 59.4 mol%, and DNA–DNA relatedness with its closest phylogenetic neighbors was 50.2 %. Chemotaxonomy indicated UQ-10 as the major quinone; phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylglycerol, and diphosphatidylglycerol as major polar lipids; C16:0, C17:0, 2-OH C10:0, 3-OH C16:0, and unresolved C18:1 ɷ7C/ɷ9C as predominant fatty acids. The cells were found to reduce O2, As5+, NO3 , SO4 2− and Fe3+ as alternate electron acceptors. The strain’s ability to metabolize dodecane or other alkanes as sole carbon source using As5+ as terminal electron acceptor was supported by the presence of genes encoding benzyl succinate synthase (bssA like) and molybdopterin-binding site (mopB) of As5+ respiratory reductase (arrA). Differential phenotypic, chemotaxonomic, genotypic as well as physiological properties revealed that the strain KAs 5-22T is separated from its nearest recognized Rhizobium species. On the basis of the data presented, strain KAs 5-22T is considered to represent a novel species of the genus Rhizobium, for which the name Rhizobium arsenicireducens sp. nov. is proposed as type strain (=LMG 28795T=MTCC 12115T).


Arsenic Groundwater Rhizobium arsenicireducens Arsenate reduction Hydrocarbon utilization 



The work is financially supported by the grant from Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Govt. of India, project number 38/1314/11/EMR II, and the fellowship to BM is provided by INSPIRE fellowship scheme of Department of Science and Technology (DST), Govt. of India, fellowship number IF120832. Authors are thankful for the kind help of R. Lal (Professor, University of Delhi, North Campus, New Delhi, India) and D.K. Newman (Professor, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, U.S.A), for providing the type strains. The authors express gratitude to S. Marqués (Professor, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Estación Experimental del Zaidín, Department of Environmental Protection, Granada, Spain) and H. S. Gehlot (Professor, Tejpur University, India) for providing the primers of bssA-like gene and nodA gene, respectively. We also acknowledge Prof A. Oren and Prof A. C. Parte for suggesting species epithet and etymology of the strain. The GenBank accession numbers for 16S rRNA, molybdopterin-binding site of As5+ respiratory reductase (arrA) and putative benzyl succinate synthase (bssA like) gene are JX173993, KR340465, and KX011179, respectively.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

203_2016_1286_MOESM1_ESM.doc (2.7 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 2813 kb)
203_2016_1286_MOESM2_ESM.docx (12 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOCX 11 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiotechnologyIndian Institute of Technology (IIT)KharagpurIndia
  2. 2.Department of MicrobiologyUniversity of Delhi South Campus (UDSC)New DelhiIndia
  3. 3.Department of BiotechnologyNational Institute of Technology (NIT)DurgapurIndia

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