6.5 at 20 °C. The alkali tolerance of this strain extends the pH range of highly adaptable Fe(III)-reducing Serratia species from mildly acidic pH values associated with acid mine drainage conditions to alkali conditions representative of subsurface sediments stimulated for extensive denitrification and metal reduction. Dissimilatory Fe(III)-reducing
bacteria are widely distributed in freshwater and marine environments and have the ability to utilize a wide range of compounds as electron donors (Lovley et al., 2004; Weber et al., Selleckchem MK-2206 2006). Dissimilatory Fe(III) reduction has been shown to occur over a wide pH range from acid mine drainage sites to alkaline soda lakes (Johnson, 1995; Straub et al., 2001; Pollock et al., 2007). Although Fe(III) reduction at low (< pH 3) and circumneutral pH is well documented, few studies exist showing Fe(III) reduction above pH 9 (Gorlenko et al., 2004; Pollock et al., 2007), despite the potential significance of these reactions in a range of natural and engineered environments. Alkaline pH is challenging for microbial metabolism as microorganisms must maintain their optimum intracellular pH and possess a mechanism for
creating an electron motive force capable screening assay of driving solutes across the cell membrane against a proton counter gradient (Krulwich et al., 2001; Detkova & Pusheva, 2006; Stewart et al., 2010). It is suggested that in extreme alkaline environments, Na+ may replace H+ to create an electron motive force in some alkaliphilic microorganisms (Kevbrin et al., 1998; Krulwich et al., 2001; Detkova & Pusheva, 2006). Fe(III) reduction at a pH
> 9 has been observed by several species isolated from natural alkaline soda lakes, including Anaerobranca californiensis (Gorlenko et al., 2004), Alkaliphilus metaliredigens (Ye et al., 2004), Tindallia magadii (Kevbrin et al., 1998) and species most similar to (96%) Bacillus agaradhaerens (Pollock et al., 2007). In addition to natural high pH environments, such Adenosine triphosphate as soda lakes, there is interest in the biogeochemistry of engineered high pH sediments, for example those resulting from industrial contamination and the use of alkaline cements as a building material. Alkaline sediment geomicrobiology is of particular current interest to the nuclear industry owing to the proposed use of cement containment for deep geological disposal of radioactive wastes and for remediation scenarios for existing contaminated land (NDA, 2011). It is important to understand how changes in pH may affect the microbial community and therefore the biogeochemical processes occurring in the subsurface. Microbial processes are a key to predicting the mobility of problematic radionuclides in the subsurface (Lloyd, 2003).