34S enrichment as a signature of thiosulfate oxidation in the " Proteobacteria "
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Kinetics of thiosulfate oxidation, product, and intermediate formation, and 34S fractionation, were studied for the members of Alphaproteobacteria Paracoccus sp. SMMA5 and Mesorhizobium thiogangeticum SJTT, the Betaproteobacteria member Pusillimonas ginsengisoli SBO3, and the Acidithiobacillia member Thermithiobacillus sp. SMMA2, during chemolithoautotrophic growth in minimal salts media supplemented with 20 mM thiosulfate. The two Alphaproteobacteria oxidized thiosulfate directly to sulfate, progressively enriching the end-product with 34S; Delta 34Sthiosulfate-sulfate values recorded at the end of the two processes (when no thiosulfate was oxidized any further) were -2.9� and -3.5� respectively. P. ginsengisoli SBO3 and Thermithiobacillus sp. SMMA2, on the other hand, oxidized thiosulfate to sulfate via tetrathionate intermediate formation, with progressive 34S enrichment in the end-product sulfate throughout the incubation period; Delta 34Sthiosulfate-sulfate, at the end of the two processes (when no further oxidation took place), reached -3.5� and -3.8� respectively. Based on similar 34S fractionation patterns recorded previously during thiosulfate oxidation by strains of Paracoccus pantotrophus, Advenella kashmirensis, and Hydrogenovibrio crunogenus, it was concluded that progressive reverse fractionation, enriching the end-product sulfate with 34S, could be a characteristic signature of bacterial thiosulfate oxidation.
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