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Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Neil Gray
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Achromatium are found in freshwater and brackish sediments where, as giant sulfur-oxidizers, they play a key role in the carbon and sulfur cycles of the sediments they inhabit. The most striking feature of this genus is its enigmatic precipitation of intracellular calcite. Past explanations, for this process have include the dissolution of stored calcite to regulate acidity generated by H2S oxidation; the use of calcite as a buoyancy regulating mechanism, the use of calcite or as a source of electron acceptor in “carbonate respiration” and the use of calcification to generate CO2 for carbon fixation. However, more recent in situ physiological studies and detailed characterisation of the environments inhabited by these organisms have indicated a possible role for intracellular calcification in the dissolution of sulfide minerals. It is proposed that this unique adaptation of Achromatium is a means of overcoming a challenge not faced by other giant sulfur bacteria, namely, inherently low levels of free sulfide in their sedimentary environment.
Author(s): Gray ND
Editor(s): Shively JM
Publication type: Book Chapter
Publication status: Published
Book Title: Inclusions in Prokaryotes
Series Title: Microbiology Monographs
Place Published: Berlin
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