EU research results


English EN
Redox cycling of iron and manganese - the role of biosorption

Redox cycling of iron and manganese - the role of biosorption


Bacteria have a high capacity to bind metal ions at their cell surface. Sorption of metal ions onto bacterial cell walls forms the basis of several microbially based purification techniques. Sorption onto bacterial surfaces is also relevant for the mobility of nutrients and metals in subsurface environments. The proposed project is dedicated to the sorption of Fe(II) and Mn(II) onto the cell wall of two Gram-negative bacteria with metal reducing capability, Shewanella putrefaciens and Geobacter metallireduc ens. In the proposed project we will address the effect of Fe(II) and Mn(II) sorption on the vitality of the bacteria and, in particular, their dissimilatory iron and manganese reduction activity. We will investigate whether changes in the cell wall composition, due to an adaptation of the bacteria, or due to changes in the metabolic status of the bacteria, influence the biosorption of Fe(II) and Mn(II). Finally, we will determine how biosorption of Fe(II) and Mn(II) influences the oxidation kinetics of the se metals.

The major goals of the proposed project are to:
1) investigate the sorption of Fe(II) and Mn(II) onto bacterial cell walls under variable environmental conditions,
2) unravel the sorption mechanisms and develop a conceptual model describing metal sorption
3) determine the variability of Fe(II) and Mn (II) sorption depending on changes in cell wall characteristics and other active responses of the bacteria
4) evaluate the implications of Fe(II) and Mn (II) sorption on the redox cycling of these elements , in particular, with respect to the oxidation of Fe (II) and Mn (II) and the rates of dissimilatory reduction of the corresponding oxyhydroxides.

The proposed project will significantly improve our understanding of the interrelation between microbiological activity and metal sorption to cell walls. Furthermore, new insight will be gained into Fe (II) and Mn(II) biosorption in natural environments, and its relevance for the redox cycling of these elements.

Leaflet | Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors, Credit: EC-GISCO, © EuroGeographics for the administrative boundaries




Heidelberglaan 8
Pobox 80021 Utrecht


Administrative Contact


Project information

Grant agreement ID: 21922

  • Start date

    1 January 2006

  • End date

    31 December 2007

Funded under:


Coordinated by: