Breathing Arsenate: Microbes, Minerals, Mono Lake, and Maybe Even Mars

R. S. Oremland, USGS Water Resources Discipline (WRD,U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey

This abstract explains the discovery and significance of certain diverse and novel bacterial species achieving anaerobic growth using arsenate, rather than oxygen, as a respiratory electron acceptor. Implications are made for the importance of arsenate reduction in the remediation of contaminated sites, the role it may have played in evolution, and the exploration of life on Mars.

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Subject: Biology:Evolution:Patterns, Biology:Ecology:Metabolism, Biology:Biogeochemistry, Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Astrobiology
Resource Type: Scientific Resources:Overview/Reference Work
Grade Level: College Upper (15-16), Graduate/Professional
Extreme Environments: Altered by Humans, Hypersaline, Alkaline
Theme: Teach the Earth:Course Topics:Biogeoscience