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Characterization of the arsenite oxidizer Aliihoeflea sp. strain 2WW and its potential application in the removal of arsenic from groundwater in combination with Pf-ferritin

Corsini, Anna, Colombo, Milena, Muyzer, Gerard, Cavalca, Lucia
Antonie van Leeuwenhoek 2015 v.108 no.3 pp. 673-684
arsenic, arsenites, bacteria, biofilters, groundwater, groundwater contamination, nucleotide sequences, oxidants, oxidation, pH, ribosomal RNA, temperature
A heterotrophic arsenite-oxidizing bacterium, strain 2WW, was isolated from a biofilter treating arsenic-rich groundwater. Comparative analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences showed that it was closely related (98.7 %) to the alphaproteobacterium Aliihoeflea aesturari strain N8ᵀ. However, it was physiologically different by its ability to grow at relatively low substrate concentrations, low temperatures and by its ability to oxidize arsenite. Here we describe the physiological features of strain 2WW and compare these to its most closely related relative, A. aestuari strain N8ᵀ. In addition, we tested its efficiency to remove arsenic from groundwater in combination with Pf-ferritin. Strain 2WW oxidized arsenite to arsenate between pH 5.0 and 8.0, and from 4 to 30 °C. When the strain was used in combination with a Pf-ferritin-based material for arsenic removal from natural groundwater, the removal efficiency was significantly higher (73 %) than for Pf-ferritin alone (64 %). These results showed that arsenite oxidation by strain 2WW combined with Pf-ferritin-based material has a potential in arsenic removal from contaminated groundwater.