|Title||Effects of Iron and Nitrogen Limitation on Sulfur Isotope Fractionation during Microbial Sulfate Reduction.|
|Year of Publication||2012|
|Authors||Sim M.S., Ono S, Bosak T|
Sulfate reducing microbes utilize sulfate as an electron acceptor and produce sulfide that is depleted in heavy isotopes of sulfur relative to sulfate. Thus, the distribution of sulfur isotopes in sediments can trace microbial sulfate reduction (MSR), and it also has a potential to reflect the physiology of sulfate reducing microbes. This study investigates the relationship between the availability of iron and reduced nitrogen, and the magnitude of S-isotope fractionation during MSR by a marine sulfate reducing bacterium DMSS-1, a Desulfovibrio sp., isolated from salt marsh in Cape Cod, MA. Submicromolar levels of iron increase sulfur isotope fractionation by about 50% relative to iron-replete cultures of DMSS-1. Iron-limited cultures also exhibit decreased cytochrome c to total protein ratios and cell-specific sulfate reduction rates (csSRR), implying changes in the electron transport chain that couples carbon and sulfur metabolisms. When DMSS-1 fixes nitrogen in ammonium-deficient medium, it also produces larger fractionation, but at faster csSRRs relative to the ammonium-replete control cultures. The energy and reducing power required for nitrogen fixation may be responsible for the reverse trend between S-isotope fractionation and csSRR in this case. Iron deficiency and nitrogen fixation by sulfate reducing microbes may lead to the large observed S-isotope effects in some euxinic basins, and various anoxic sediments.