Putative Nickel-Dependent Anaerobic Carbon Monoxide Uptake Occurs Commonly in Soils and Sediments at Ambient Temperature and Might Contribute to Atmospheric and Sub-Atmospheric Carbon Monoxide Uptake During Anoxic Conditions

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Carbon monoxide (CO) occurs naturally in the atmosphere where it plays a critical role in tropospheric chemistry. Atmospheric CO uptake by soils has been well documented as an important CO sink and has been attributed to a group of aerobic bacteria that possess a molybdenum-dependent CO dehydrogenase (Mo-CODH). CO can also be oxidized by obligate Ni-dependent anaerobes (Ni-COX) that possess nickel-dependent CODHs (Ni-CODH) but relatively little is known about their ecology or their potential to contribute to CO dynamics within soils and sediments or to soil-atmosphere CO exchanges. Results from a series of assays undertaken with diverse soils and sediments and CO concentrations of 10 ppm and 25% with incubation temperatures of 10, 25, and 60°C revealed anaerobic uptake rates with 10 ppm CO that were comparable to those measured under oxic conditions; further, anaerobic CO uptake occurred without a lag and at atmospheric and sub-atmospheric CO concentrations. Assays with 25% CO revealed previously undocumented activity at 10°C and showed extensive activity at 25°C. Results from prior studies with isolates and soils suggest that anaerobic uptake at both 10 ppm and 25% CO concentrations might be attributed to Ni-COX. Collectively the results considerably expand the ecological range for Ni-COX and indicate that they could play previously unsuspected roles in soil CO dynamics.

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Frontiers in microbiology

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