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Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Vol: 72, No: 12, 2006; Pages: 7919-7921


Mercury Methylation by Dissimilatory Iron-Reducing Bacteria

E. J. Kerin,1,2 C. C. Gilmour,2* E. Roden,3 M. T. Suzuki,1 J. D. Coates,4 and R. P. Mason5

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, P.O. Box 28, 647 Contees Wharf Road, Edgewater, MD 21037.

Abstract

The Hg-methylating ability of dissimilatory iron-reducing bacteria in the genera Geobacter, Desulfuromonas, and Shewanella was examined. All of the Geobacter and Desulfuromonas strains tested methylated mercury while reducing Fe(III), nitrate, or fumarate. In contrast, none of the Shewanella strains produced methylmercury at higher levels than abiotic controls under similar culture conditions. Geobacter and Desulfuromonas are closely related to known Hg-methylating sulfate-reducing bacteria within the Deltaproteobacteria.

Keywords:Hg-methylating;bacteria;Geobacter;Desulfuromonas;Shewanella;Fe(III);taxonomy.


Corresponding author: Tel (443) 482-2498; Fax (443) 482-2380.

E-mail: gilmourc@si.edu

 

 
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