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Invited commentary: lubricating the rusty wheel,new insights into iron oxidizing bacteria through comparative genomics

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-03, 12:17 authored by Eric Altermann
A commentary on: Comparative genomics of freshwater Fe-oxidizing bacteria: implications for physiology, ecology, and systematics by Emerson, D., Field, E. K., Chertkov, O., Davenport, K. W., Goodwin, L., Munk, C., et al. Front. Microbiol. 4:254. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2013.00254 Iron is the fourth most abundant mineral in the Earth's lithosphere (Weber et al., 2006; Emerson et al., 2013), where it is present at a mean concentration of 5% (Hedrich et al., 2011). Iron can exist in two oxidation stages as ferrous (Fe(II)) and ferric (Fe(III)) iron and some bacteria and archaea have evolved to use iron as an obligate or facultative energy source, giving them the name “Iron Oxidizing Bacteria” (FeOB) and “Iron Oxidizing Archaea” (FeOA), respectively (Figure 1). The oxidation from Fe(II) to Fe(III) can occur under both oxic and anoxic conditions within a pH range between 0.5 to 8.4 (Edwards et al., 2000; Weber et al., 2006; Hedrich et al., 2011). Here, the microbially mediated oxidation of iron under (micro-)aerobic circum-neutral conditions will be discussed.


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© 2014 Altermann. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.


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Journal title

Frontiers in Micobiology




Altermann, E. (2014). Invited commentary: lubricating the rusty wheel, new insights into iron oxidizing bacteria through comparative genomics. Frontiers in Microbiology, 5, 386.

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