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Arsenite as an Electron Donor for Anoxygenic Photosynthesis: Description of Three Strains of Ectothiorhodospira from Mono Lake, California and Big Soda Lake, Nevada

U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, CA 94025, USA
Department of Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064, USA
Department of Biological Sciences, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA 15282, USA
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Rafael Montalvo-Rodríguez, Aharon Oren and Antonio Ventosa
Received: 5 October 2016 / Revised: 20 December 2016 / Accepted: 21 December 2016 / Published: 26 December 2016
PDF [3093 KB, uploaded 26 December 2016]


Three novel strains of photosynthetic bacteria from the family Ectothiorhodospiraceae were isolated from soda lakes of the Great Basin Desert, USA by employing arsenite (As(III)) as the sole electron donor in the enrichment/isolation process. Strain PHS-1 was previously isolated from a hot spring in Mono Lake, while strain MLW-1 was obtained from Mono Lake sediment, and strain BSL-9 was isolated from Big Soda Lake. Strains PHS-1, MLW-1, and BSL-9 were all capable of As(III)-dependent growth via anoxygenic photosynthesis and contained homologs of arxA, but displayed different phenotypes. Comparisons were made with three related species: Ectothiorhodospira shaposhnikovii DSM 2111, Ectothiorhodospira shaposhnikovii DSM 243T, and Halorhodospira halophila DSM 244. All three type cultures oxidized arsenite to arsenate but did not grow with As(III) as the sole electron donor. DNA–DNA hybridization indicated that strain PHS-1 belongs to the same species as Ect. shaposhnikovii DSM 2111 (81.1% sequence similarity), distinct from Ect. shaposhnikovii DSM 243T (58.1% sequence similarity). These results suggest that the capacity for light-driven As(III) oxidation is a common phenomenon among purple photosynthetic bacteria in soda lakes. However, the use of As(III) as a sole electron donor to sustain growth via anoxygenic photosynthesis is confined to novel isolates that were screened for by this selective cultivation criterion. View Full-Text
Keywords: arsenite; anoxygenic photosynthesis; soda lakes; arxA; Ectothiorhodospira arsenite; anoxygenic photosynthesis; soda lakes; arxA; Ectothiorhodospira

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Hoeft McCann, S.; Boren, A.; Hernandez-Maldonado, J.; Stoneburner, B.; Saltikov, C.W.; Stolz, J.F.; Oremland, R.S. Arsenite as an Electron Donor for Anoxygenic Photosynthesis: Description of Three Strains of Ectothiorhodospira from Mono Lake, California and Big Soda Lake, Nevada. Life 2017, 7, 1.

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