Manganese reduction by microbes from oxic regions of the Lake Vanda (Antarctica) water column

Bonnie J.O. Bratina, Bradley S. Stevenson, William J. Green, Thomas M. Schmidt*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Depth profiles of metals in Lake Vanda, a permanently ice-covered, stratified Antarctic lake, suggest the importance of particulate manganese oxides in the scavenging, transport, and release of metals. Since manganese oxides can be solubilized by manganese-reducing bacteria, microbially mediated manganese reduction was investigated in Lake Vanda. Microbes concentrated from oxic regions of the water column, encompassing a peak of soluble manganese [Mn(II)], reduced synthetic manganese oxides (MnO2) when incubated aerobically. Pure cultures of manganese-reducing bacteria were readily isolated from waters collected near the oxic Mn(II) peak. Based on phylogenetic analysis of the 16S rRNA gene sequence, most of the isolated manganese reducers belong to the genus Carnobacterium. Cultures of a phylogenetically representative strain of Carnobacterium reduced synthetic MnO2 in the presence of sodium azide, as was seen in field assays. Unlike anaerobes that utilize manganese oxides as terminal electron acceptors in respiration, isolates of the genus Carnobacterium reduced Mn (IV) via a diffusible compound under oxic conditions. The release of adsorbed trace metals accompanying the solubilization of manganese oxides may provide populations of Carnobacterium with a source of nutrients in this extremely oligotrophic environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3791-3797
Number of pages7
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Ecology


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