Goff, J. L., Terry, L., Mal, J., Schilling, K., Pallud, C., & Yee, N. (2018). Role of extracellular reactive sulfur metabolites on microbial Se(0) dissolution. Geobiology.
Goff, Jennifer L, L. Terry, J. Mal, K. Schilling, C. Pallud, and N. Yee. “Role of Extracellular Reactive Sulfur Metabolites on Microbial Se(0) Dissolution.” Geobiology (2018).
Goff, Jennifer L., et al. “Role of Extracellular Reactive Sulfur Metabolites on Microbial Se(0) Dissolution.” Geobiology, 2018.
The dissolution of elemental selenium [Se(0)] during chemical weathering is an important step in the global selenium cycle. While microorganisms have been shown to play a key role in selenium dissolution in soils, the mechanisms of microbial selenium solubilization are poorly understood. In this study, we isolated a Bacillus species, designated as strain JG17, that exhibited the ability to dissolve Se(0) under oxic conditions and neutral pH. Growth of JG17 in a defined medium resulted in the production and accumulation of extracellular compounds that mediated Se(0) dissolution. Analysis of the spent medium revealed the presence of extracellular sulfite, sulfide, and thiosulfate. Abiotic Se(0) dissolution experiments with concentrations of sulfite, sulfide, and thiosulfate relevant to our system showed similar extents of selenium solubilization as the spent medium. Together, these results indicate that the solubilization of Se(0) by JG17 occurs via the release of extracellular inorganic sulfur compounds followed by chemical dissolution of Se(0) by the reactive sulfur metabolites. Our findings suggest that the production of reactive sulfur metabolites by soil microorganisms and the formation of soluble selenosulfur complexes can promote selenium mobilization during chemical weathering.