Fe(III) oxide reduction and carbon tetrachloride dechlorination by a newly isolated Klebsiella pneumoniae strain L17

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To isolate an iron-reducing bacterium and examine its ability of Fe(III) oxide reduction and dechlorination.

Methods and Results

A fermentative facultative anaerobe, strain L17 isolated from subterranean sediment, can reduce Fe(III) oxides and carbon tetrachloride (CT). It was identified as Klebsiella pneumoniae by 16S rRNA sequence analysis. Strain L17 can metabolize fermentable substrates such as citrate, glycerol, glucose and sucrose coupled with the reduction of hydrous ferric oxide, goethite, lepidocrocite and hematite. Fe(III) reduction was influenced by crystal structure of Fe(III) oxide, type of fermentable substrate, metabolic status of the strain, and significantly enhanced by addition of anthraquinone-2,6-disulfonate (AQDS). Strain L17 could dechlorinate CT to chloroform, and the rate was accelerated in the presence of Fe(III) oxide and AQDS. Biotic dechlorination by strain L17 and abiotic dechlorination by sorbed Fe(II) were proposed as the two main mechanisms. AQDS might accelerate the dechlorination by transferring electrons from strain L17 to Fe(III) oxide and CT.


K. pneumoniae L17 can reduce Fe(III) oxides and CT. The two reductions can occur simultaneously, and be significantly promoted by AQDS.

Significance and Impact of the Study

This is the first report of a strain of K. pneumoniae capable of reducing Fe(III) oxides and CT. As a strain of environmental origin, strain L17 may have the potential for bioremediation of chlorinated compound-contaminated sites.

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