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Revista internacional de contaminación ambiental

Print version ISSN 0188-4999


PACHECO AGUILAR, Juan Ramiro; MALDONADO VEGA, María  and  PENA CABRIALES, Juan José. Sulfur metabolism in bacterial isolates from a constructed wetland used for treating tannery industrial wastewater. Rev. Int. Contam. Ambient [online]. 2012, vol.28, n.3, pp.195-201. ISSN 0188-4999.

Constructed wetlands are an alternative for the treatment of effluents where biological oxidation processes caused by the rhizosphere of plants and microorganisms present in situ, contribute to the removal of contaminants. In the present work, we characterized the sulfur (S) metabolism of ten bacteria belonging to the genera Acinetobacter,Alcaligenes, Ochrobactrum and Pseudomonas, which were isolated from a wetland constructed for the treatment of effluents with high organic matter content (biochemical oxygen demand: BOD5 1320 mg/L) and sulfides (54 mg/L) from the leather tanning industry. Biochemical assays indicate that all the isolates can use some sulfur species such as elemental sulfur (S0), thiosulfate (S2O62-) or sulfide (S2-) as the sole source of S. We also found that strains of Pseudomonas genus were the most versatile base on the fact that they oxidize S2- (2 mM) and S2O62- (4 mM) transforming them to S0 and tetrathionate (S4O62-), respectively, whereas Acinetobacter strains only oxidize S0 to S2O62-. We also found that the strains of the genera Alcaligenes and Ochrobactrum oxidize S2O62- (4 mM) to S4O62-. The activity of these microorganisms through the treatment system and the integration of their metabolism might actively participate in the removal of sulfur compounds.

Keywords : Oxidation; sulfide (S2-); elemental sulfur (S0); thiosulfate (S2O62-); tetrathionate (S4O62-); Acinetobacter; Alcaligenes; Ochrobactrum; Pseudomonas.

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