Thermoacidophilic sulfate reduction, which remains a poorly studied process, was investigated in the present work. Radioisotope analysis with 35S-labeled sulfate was used to determine the rates of dissimilatory sulfate reduction in acidic thermal springs of Kamchatka, Russia. Sulfate reduction rates were found to vary from 0.054 to 12.9 nmol SO4/(cm3 day). The Oil Site spring (Uzon caldera, 60°C, pH 4.2) and Oreshek spring (Mutnovskii volcano, 91°C, pH 3.5) exhibited the highest activity of sulfate-reducing prokaryotes. Stable enrichment cultures reducing sulfate at pH and temperature values close to the environmental ones were obtained from these springs. Analysis of the 16S rRNA gene sequences revealed that a chemolithoautotrophic bacterium Thermodesulfobium sp. 3127-1 was responsible for sulfate reduction in the enrichment from the Oil Site spring. A chemoorganoheterotrophic archaeon Vulcanisaeta sp. 3102-1 (phylum Crenarchaeota) was identified in the enrichment from Oreshek spring. Thus, dissimilatory sulfate reduction under thermoacidophilic conditions was demonstrated and the agents responsible for this process were revealed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology