Reduction of uranium(VI) phosphate during growth of the thermophilic bacterium thermoterrabacterium ferrireducens

T. V. Khijniak, A. I. Slobodkin, V. Coker, J. C. Renshaw, F. R. Livens, E. A. Bonch-Osmolovskaya, N. K. Birkeland, N. N. Medvedeva-Lyalikova, J. R. Lloyd

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The thermophilic, gram-positive bacterium Thermoterrabacterium ferrireducens coupled organotrophic growth to the reduction of sparingly soluble U(VI) phosphate. X-ray powder diffraction and X-ray absorption spectroscopy analysis identified the electron acceptor in a defined medium as U(VI) phosphate [uramphite; (NH4)(UO2)(PO4) · 3H 2O], while the U(IV)-containing precipitate formed during bacterial growth was identified as ningyoite [CaU(PO4)2 · H2O]. This is the first report of microbial reduction of a largely insoluble U(VI) compound. 

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6423-6426
Number of pages4
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2005


  • uranium(VI) phosphate
  • thermophilic bacterium thermoterrabacterium ferrireducens
  • gram-positive bacterium
  • thermophilic
  • organotrophic growth
  • soluble U(VI) phosphate
  • x-ray powder
  • X-Ray absorption

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