, Volume 32, Issue 1, pp 171–184 | Cite as

Determination of iron species, including biomineralized jarosite, in the iron-hyperaccumulator moss Scopelophila ligulata by Mössbauer, X-ray diffraction, and elemental analyses

  • Hiromitsu NakajimaEmail author
  • Atsushi Okazawa
  • Shiro Kubuki
  • Qing Shen
  • Kiminori Itoh


Scopelophila ligulata is an Fe-hyperaccumulator moss growing in acidic environments, but the mechanism of Fe accumulation remains unknown. To understand the mechanism, we determined Fe species in S. ligulata samples. The moss samples were collected from four sites in Japan. The concentrations of Fe, P, S, Cl, and K in them were measured by induced coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Fe species in some of them were determined by Mössbauer spectroscopy and were confirmed by X-ray diffraction analysis. Fe species in S. ligulata samples were determined to be jarosite, ferritin, high-spin Fe(II) species, and akaganeite. To our knowledge, this is the first report on the biomineralization of jarosite in mosses. This result, combined with the fact that bacteria, a fungus, and a grass mineralize jarosite, suggests that its biomineralization is a common characteristic in a wide variety of living organisms. These findings indicate that the biomineralization of jarosite occurs not only in the region-specific species but in species adapted to a low-pH and metal-contaminated environment in different regions, provide a better understanding of the mechanism of Fe accumulation in the Fe-hyperaccumulator moss S. ligulata, and offer new insights into the biomineralization of jarosite.


Scopelophila ligulata Iron Hyperaccumulation Biomineralization Jarosite Akaganeite 



We thank Prof. Yoshio Kobayashi and Prof. Kiyoshi Nomura for helpful comments. This study was partly supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant No. 26340045.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hiromitsu Nakajima
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Atsushi Okazawa
    • 3
  • Shiro Kubuki
    • 4
  • Qing Shen
    • 1
  • Kiminori Itoh
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of Informatics and EngineeringThe University of Electro-CommunicationsChofuJapan
  2. 2.Graduate School of Environment and Information SciencesYokohama National UniversityYokohamaJapan
  3. 3.Department of Basic Science, Graduate School of Arts and SciencesThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan
  4. 4.Graduate School of Science and EngineeringTokyo Metropolitan UniversityHachiojiJapan

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