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Maghemite (γ-Fe2O3) nanoparticles enhance dissimilatory ferrihydrite reduction by Geobacter sulfurreducens: Impacts on iron mineralogical change and bacterial interactions

Chen, Zheng, Zhang, Yaxian, Luo, Qingliu, Wang, Liuying, Liu, Shurui, Peng, Yajuan, Wang, Haitao, Shen, Liang, Li, Qingbiao, Wang, Yuanpeng
Journal of environmental sciences (China) 2019 v.78 pp. 193-203
Geobacter sulfurreducens, X-ray diffraction, bacteria, biogeochemical cycles, cytochromes, direct contact, electron microscopy, electron transfer, ferric oxide, ferrihydrite, fimbriae, indirect contact, iron, iron oxyhydroxides, maghemite, magnetite, nanoparticles, soil, sorption
Microbially mediated bioreduction of iron oxyhydroxide plays an important role in the biogeochemical cycle of iron. Geobacter sulfurreducens is a representative dissimilatory iron-reducing bacterium that assembles electrically conductive pili and cytochromes. The impact of supplementation with γ-Fe2O3 nanoparticles (NPs) (0.2 and 0.6 g) on the G. sulfurreducens-mediated reduction of ferrihydrite was investigated. In the overall performance of microbial ferrihydrite reduction mediated by γ-Fe2O3 NPs, stronger reduction was observed in the presence of direct contact with γ-Fe2O3 NPs than with indirect contact. Compared to the production of Fe(II) derived from biotic modification with ferrihydrite alone, increases greater than 1.6- and 1.4-fold in the production of Fe(II) were detected in the biotic modifications in which direct contact with 0.2 g and 0.6 g γ-Fe2O3 NPs, respectively, occurred. X-ray diffraction analysis indicated that magnetite was a unique representative iron mineral in ferrihydrite when active G. sulfurreducens cells were in direct contact with γ-Fe2O3 NPs. Because of the sorption of biogenic Fe(II) onto γ-Fe2O3 NPs instead of ferrihydrite, the addition of γ-Fe2O3 NPs could also contribute to increased duration of ferrihydrite reduction by preventing ferrihydrite surface passivation. Additionally, electron microscopy analysis confirmed that the direct addition of γ-Fe2O3 NPs stimulated the electrically conductive pili and cytochromes to stretch, facilitating long-range electron transfer between the cells and ferrihydrite. The obtained findings provide a more comprehensive understanding of the effects of iron oxide NPs on soil biogeochemistry.