, Volume 27, Issue 8, pp 1126–1136 | Cite as

Dissimilatory arsenate-respiring prokaryotes catalyze the dissolution, reduction and release of arsenic from paddy soils into groundwater: implication for the effect of sulfate

  • Wanxia Shi
  • Weiwei Wu
  • Xian-Chun ZengEmail author
  • Xiaoming Chen
  • Xianbin Zhu
  • Shenggao ChengEmail author


The paddy soils in some areas in Jianghan Plain were severely contaminated by arsenic. However, little is known about the activity and diversity of the dissimilatory arsenate-respiring prokaryotes (DARPs) in the paddy soils, and the effects of sulfate on the microbial mobilization and release of arsenic from soils into solution. To address this issue, we collected arsenic-rich soils from the depths of 1.6 and 4.6 m in a paddy region in the Xiantao city, Hubei Province, China. Microcosm assays indicated that all of the soils have significant arsenate-respiring activities using lactate, pyruvate or acetate as the sole electron donor. Functional gene cloning and analysis suggest that there are diverse DARPs in the indigenous microbial communities of the soils. They efficiently promoted the mobilization, reduction and release of arsenic and iron from soils under anaerobic conditions. Remarkably, when sulfate was amended into the microcosms, the microorganisms-catalyzed reduction and release of arsenic and iron were significantly increased. We further found that sulfate significantly enhanced the arsenate-respiring reductase gene abundances in the soils. Taken together, a diversity of DARPs in the paddy soils significantly catalyzed the dissolution, reduction and release of arsenic and iron from insoluble phase into solution, and the presence of sulfate significantly increased the microbial reactions.


Arsenic dissolution and release Sulfurated fertilizer Paddy soils Dissimilatory arsenate-respiring prokaryote (DARP) Arsenic contamination Jianghan Plain 



This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 41472219 and 41521001).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethics approval

No specific permissions were required for the collection of samples from this hot spring. Moreover, this location did not involve endangered and protected species and it is not under regulatory body concerned with protection of wildlife. of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Biogeology and Environmental Geology & School of Environmental StudiesChina University of Geosciences (Wuhan)WuhanPeople’s Republic of China

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