Rizlan Bernier-Latmani, Associate Professor at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, will present.
Microbial aersenic methylation and volatilization in soils
ABSTRACT: Arsenic (As) is highly toxic metalloid that is commonly and naturally found in soils and sediments. Microorganisms are able to catalyze many arsenic transformations, including methylation, which results in the formation of volatile arsenic compounds. As methylation is particularly important in anoxic environments, such as flooded rice paddy soils. In fact, microbially-derived methylated As is hyperaccumulated to an even greater extent than inorganic As in the rice grain. However, there is little known about the microorganisms responsible for As methylation in soils. Here, we use pure cultures to deconvolute the biological controls on As methylation and we use meta-omic tools to identify the microorganisms responsible for methylation in soil. We found that in anaerobic microorganisms, efficient efflux of trivalent inorganic As precludes methylation and that fermentative bacteria play a key role in As methylation in soil enrichments.
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