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Conference Papers Year : 2012

Bacterial oxidation of arsenic in polluted soils: role of organic matters


Microbes play a major role on the behavior of metals and metalloids in soils. Arsenic speciation, in particular, is related to the activity of bacteria able to oxidize, reduce or methylate this element, and determines mobility, bioavailability and toxicity of As. Arsenate (AsV) is less toxic and less mobile than arsenite (AsIII). Bacterial As(III)-oxidation tends therefore to reduce the toxicity of arsenic in soils and its risk of transfer toward underlying aquifers. It is well known that organic matter influences abiotically the speciation of arsenic and thus its mobility in soils. Previous results suggest an effect of organic matter on the kinetics or efficiency of bacterial As(III)-oxidation in presence of oxygen, thus in conventional physico-chemical conditions of a surface soil. The objective of the present project is to quantify the influence of organic matters on the bacterial speciation of arsenic in polluted soils. Moreover, the biogeochemical consequences of this phenomenon on the mobility and ecotoxicity of this metalloid will be studied. The first task of this program is the systematic investigation of the influence of different types and concentrations of organic matters on the activity of As(III)-oxidizing pure strains. Influence of simple substrates (aspartate, succinate) and complex substrate (yeast extract) on As(III)-oxidation kinetics has been studied. For each experiment, the bacterial growth and the expression of genes involved in the speciation of arsenic, i.e. aio and ars genes, has been monitored. A direct perspective of this work will be to perform experiments with humic and fulvic acids (complex organic matter commonly found in soils), and with water-extracted organic matter from polluted soils. Then the As(III)-oxidation activity of bacterial communities extracted from contaminated soils will be followed. These assays should allow the screening of conditions which will be applied in subsequent experiments with several real contaminated soils, including a former mining site, impacted industrial sites, and a forest soil heavily contaminated after arsenical ammunitions storage. This work is co-funded by BRGM and ADEME (convention TEZ 11-16).
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hal-00738565 , version 1 (04-10-2012)


  • HAL Id : hal-00738565 , version 1
  • PRODINRA : 244401


Tiffanie Lescure, Catherine Joulian, Pascale Bauda, Catherine Hénault, Fabienne Battaglia-Brunet. Bacterial oxidation of arsenic in polluted soils: role of organic matters. Interfaces Against Pollution 2012, Jun 2012, Nancy, France. p. 202. ⟨hal-00738565⟩
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