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Interaction of microbially formed iron oxides and organic matter
Jiro Mori                            

Institute of Ecology

Limnology/Aquatic Geomicrobiology

Dornburger Str. 159
07743 Jena
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Telephone: +49 (0)3641 949472
Fax: +49 (0)3641 949202

  Jiro Mori


 Iron-oxidizing and iron-reducing microorganisms play a key role in iron cycling in nature. Microbial Fe(II) oxidation leads to the formation and precipitation of Fe(III)-oxides. These iron oxides can then provide a good substrate for anaerobic Fe(III)-reducing bacteria.

 In the former uranium mining area near Ronneburg, Germany, the creeks have been impacted by acid mine and show the accumulation of Fe(III) precipitates. In the small stream around the creek, greenish “Streamers” emerge along the stream. Iron-oxidizing bacteria might form the biofilm in these Streamers, and its matrix (EPS) could catch heavy metals in the stream water. This project aims at investigating the ecology of the Streamers, including microscopic observation of EPS composition and determination of microbial abundance and activities through phylogenic analysis (pyro-sequencing).

 Alongside this work, we are trying to cultivate iron-oxidizing bacteria in the flow-through camber system with continuous input of nutrients. Through the analysis of the iron compound formation and the other substances from the output of the system, we will investigate the influence of organic matter on microbial iron oxidation in fresh water environments (with Dr. Juanjuan Wang).

 Also, we are trying to establish the co-cultivation system of iron-oxidizing and iron-reducing bacteria in liquid culture. After optimization of the cultivation system, the microbial metabolites in the culture will be analyzed to identify the special organic substances used for the communication of these bacteria in microbial iron cycling (with Dr. Shipeng Lu).

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