, Volume 24, Issue 3, pp 437–450 | Cite as

Hexavalent chromium reduction by Cellulomonas sp. strain ES6: the influence of carbon source, iron minerals, and electron shuttling compounds

  • Erin K. Field
  • Robin Gerlach
  • Sridhar Viamajala
  • Laura K. Jennings
  • Brent M. Peyton
  • William A. Apel
Original Paper


The reduction of hexavalent chromium, Cr(VI), to trivalent chromium, Cr(III), can be an important aspect of remediation processes at contaminated sites. Cellulomonas species are found at several Cr(VI) contaminated and uncontaminated locations at the Department of Energy site in Hanford, Washington. Members of this genus have demonstrated the ability to effectively reduce Cr(VI) to Cr(III) fermentatively and therefore play a potential role in Cr(VI) remediation at this site. Batch studies were conducted with Cellulomonas sp. strain ES6 to assess the influence of various carbon sources, iron minerals, and electron shuttling compounds on Cr(VI) reduction rates as these chemical species are likely to be present in, or added to, the environment during in situ bioremediation. Results indicated that the type of carbon source as well as the type of electron shuttle present influenced Cr(VI) reduction rates. Molasses stimulated Cr(VI) reduction more effectively than pure sucrose, presumably due to presence of more easily utilizable sugars, electron shuttling compounds or compounds with direct Cr(VI) reduction capabilities. Cr(VI) reduction rates increased with increasing concentration of anthraquinone-2,6-disulfonate (AQDS) regardless of the carbon source. The presence of iron minerals and their concentrations did not significantly influence Cr(VI) reduction rates. However, strain ES6 or AQDS could directly reduce surface-associated Fe(III) to Fe(II), which was capable of reducing Cr(VI) at a near instantaneous rate. These results suggest the rate limiting step in these systems was the transfer of electrons from strain ES6 to the intermediate or terminal electron acceptor whether that was Cr(VI), Fe(III), or AQDS.


Bioremediation Heavy metal Humics Electron shuttle Radionuclide Biotic and abiotic reduction 



The authors would like to thank Lindsey Hopper, Kristy Weaver, Nicholas Ballor and Crystal Russell for their various contributions in the laboratory. This research was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Subsurface Biogeochemical Research Program, under Grant Nos. DE-FG02-03ER63582 and DOE-NE Idaho Operations Office Contract DE-AC07-05ID14517. Partial financial support was provided by a grant from the Inland Northwest Research Alliance (INRA) under contract MSU 002. We thank Thomas Borch, Matthew Marcus (ALS) and Matthew Ginder-Vogel for their help with synchrotron-based analyses. The Advanced Light Source is supported by the Director, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, of the U.S. Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231.

Supplementary material

10532_2012_9600_MOESM1_ESM.doc (494 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 493 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erin K. Field
    • 1
    • 2
  • Robin Gerlach
    • 3
  • Sridhar Viamajala
    • 4
  • Laura K. Jennings
    • 3
  • Brent M. Peyton
    • 3
  • William A. Apel
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Microbiology and Center for Biofilm EngineeringMontana State UniversityBozemanUSA
  2. 2.Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean SciencesEast BoothbayUSA
  3. 3.Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering and Center for Biofilm EngineeringMontana State UniversityBozemanUSA
  4. 4.Department of Chemical and Environmental EngineeringThe University of ToledoToledoUSA
  5. 5.Biological Systems DepartmentIdaho National LaboratoryIdaho FallsUSA

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