Abundant and diverse arsenic‐metabolizing microorganisms in peatlands treating arsenic‐contaminated mining wastewaters
Kujala, K., Besold, J., Mikkonen, A., Tiirola, M., & Planer-Friedrich, B. (2020). Abundant and diverse arsenic‐metabolizing microorganisms in peatlands treating arsenic‐contaminated mining wastewaters. Environmental Microbiology, 22(4), 1572-1587. https://doi.org/10.1111/1462-2920.14922
Published inEnvironmental Microbiology
© 2020 Wiley-Blackwell
Mining operations produce large quantities of wastewater. At a mine site in Northern Finland, two natural peatlands are used for the treatment of mining‐influenced waters with high concentrations of sulfate and potentially toxic arsenic (As). In the present study, As removal and the involved microbial processes in those treatment peatlands (TPs) were assessed. Arsenic‐metabolizing microorganisms were abundant in peat soil from both TPs (up to 108 cells gdw‐1), with arsenate respirers being about 100 times more abundant than arsenite oxidizers. In uninhibited microcosm incubations, supplemented arsenite was oxidized under oxic conditions and supplemented arsenate was reduced under anoxic conditions, while little to no oxidation/reduction was observed in NaN3‐inhibited microcosms, indicating high As‐turnover potential of peat microbes. Formation of thioarsenates was observed in anoxic microcosms. Sequencing of the functional genemarkers aioA (arsenite oxidizers), arrA (arsenate respirers), and arsC (detoxifying arsenate reducers) demonstrated high diversity of the As‐metabolizing microbial community. The microbial community composition differed between the two TPs, which may have affected As removal efficiencies. In the present situation, arsenate reduction is likely the dominant net process and contributes substantially to As removal. Changes in TP usage (e.g. mine closure) with lowered water tables and heightened oxygen availability in peat might lead to reoxidation and remobilization of bound arsenite. ...
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Related funder(s)European Commission
Funding program(s)FP7 (EU's 7th Framework Programme)
The content of the publication reflects only the author’s view. The funder is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.
Additional information about fundingFunding for this work was provided by the Academy of Finland (project287397 “Microbial transformations of arsenic and antimony in Northern natural peatlands treating mine waste waters”) and the University of Oulu. Additional support was provided by the European Research Concil (ERC grant awarded to MT, grant agreement No. 615146, FP/2007- 2013), the Bavarian Funding Program for the Initiation of International Projects and the German Research Foundation (grants awarded to BPF, BayIntAn_UBT_2017_23 and DFG PL 302/20-1). ...
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