Arsenic sequestration by nitrate respiring microbial communities in urban lake sediments

Chemosphere. 2007 Dec;70(2):329-36. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2007.05.094. Epub 2007 Nov 1.


Changes in microbial community composition and activity were related to geochemical conditions favoring arsenic sequestration in sediments collected from the urban, arsenic-contaminated Upper Mystic Lake. After amendment with nitrate, >94% total soluble arsenic is sequestered by Fe(III)-(oxy)hydroxides generated in live sediments. Of this sequestered arsenic, >75% existed as As(III), indicating As redox state alone is not responsible for changes in mobility. Arsenic sequestration was concurrent with the microbial respiration of nitrate as indicated by steady state hydrogen concentration and the presence of organisms similar to nitrate-reducing, iron-oxidizing bacteria belonging to the genus Dechloromonas in 16S rDNA clone libraries.

MeSH terms

  • Arsenic / analysis*
  • Betaproteobacteria / growth & development*
  • Biodegradation, Environmental
  • DNA, Bacterial / analysis
  • DNA, Ribosomal / analysis
  • Fresh Water* / analysis
  • Fresh Water* / microbiology
  • Geologic Sediments* / analysis
  • Geologic Sediments* / microbiology
  • Massachusetts
  • Nitrates / analysis*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / analysis
  • Urbanization
  • Water Microbiology
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / analysis*


  • DNA, Bacterial
  • DNA, Ribosomal
  • Nitrates
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • Arsenic