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Electron Donors Utilized by Sulfate-Reducing Bacteria in Eutrophic Lake Sediments †

  • Richard L. Smith
  • Michael J. Klug
Publication Date
Jul 01, 1981


Mineralization rates of 14C-labeled substrates were determined in the presence and absence of Na2MoO4, an inhibitor of sulfate reduction, in the profundal sediments of a shallow eutrophic lake. Sulfate reduction was inhibited by Na2MoO4 at all concentrations tested (0.2 to 200 mM), whereas methane production was inhibited at Na2MoO4 concentrations greater than 20 mM. Initial mineralization rates of glucose were unaffected by Na2MoO4; however, Na2MoO4 decreased the mineralization rates of lactate (58%), propionate (52%), an amino acid mixture (85%), and acetate (14%). These decreases in the rates of mineralization were attributed to inhibition of sulfate reduction. Hydrogen stimulated the reduction of 35SO42− 2.5- to 2.8-fold, demonstrating potential hydrogen oxidation by sulfate-reducing bacteria. These results indicate that sulfate reducers utilize an array of substrates as electron donors and are of potential significance to the in situ mineralization of lactate, propionate, and free amino acids in these sediments.


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