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Journal Article 
Thioarsenate transformation by filamentous microbial mats thriving in an alkaline, sulfidic hot spring 
Härtig, C; Planer-Friedrich, B 
In Press 
Environmental Science and Technology
ISSN: 0013-936X
EISSN: 1520-5851 
Thioarsenates dominate arsenic speciation in sulfidic geothermal waters, yet little is known about their fate in the environment. At Conch Spring, an alkaline hot spring in Yellowstone National Park, trithioarsenate transforms to arsenate under increasingly oxidizing conditions along the drainage channel, accompanied by an initial increase, then decrease of monothioarsenate and arsenite. On-site incubation tests were conducted using sterile-filtered water with and without addition of filamentous microbial mats from the drainage channel to distinguish the role of abiotic and biotic processes for arsenic species transformation. Abiotically, trithioarsenate was desulfidized to arsenate coupled to sulfide oxidation. Arsenite and monothioarsenate, however, were kinetically stable. Biotic incubations proved that their intermediate accumulation in the drainage channel is microbially catalyzed. In the presence of sulfide, microbially enhanced sulfide oxidation coupled to reduction of arsenate to arsenite could simply enhance abiotic desulfidation of tri- and potentially also monothioarsenate. However, we were also able to show, in sulfide-free medium, direct microbial transformation of monothioarsenate to arsenate. Some arsenite formed intermediately, which was subsequently also microbially oxidized to arsenate. This study is the first evidence for microbially mediated thioarsenate species transformation by (hyper)thermophilic prokaryotes. 
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