Response of Desulfovibrio vulgaris to Alkaline Stress Page: 3 of 36
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Sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) are ubiquitous in nature and play an important role in
global carbon and sulfur cycling. Their habitat range includes freshwater, marine and hyper
saline aquatic systems, cold oceanic sediments, the deep subsurface, hydrothermal vents, and hot
springs (11, 26, 35). Although long thought to be relatively restricted in catabolic range, this
functionally defined assemblage is now recognized to be remarkably versatile. SRB mediate the
degradation of aromatic compounds once thought to be refractory to anaerobic degradation,
including benzene (1,3,8,22,23) and reduce a variety of metals including radionuclides
(19,23,35). For these reasons they have also been studied for possible utility in the
bioremediation of environments contaminated with organic and metal pollutants.
Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough is one of the better characterized of SRB. This
Gram-negative Deltaproteobacterium, isolated 60 years ago from clay soil in Hildenborough,
Kent (United Kingdom) has served as one of the principal models for resolving the physiological
and genetic basis of sulfate respiration. The recent completion of its genome sequence (13) has
enabled genome-wide expression studies (5,27,13,36,37) that are now beginning to resolve its
adaptive response to changing environmental parameters. Although this information is essential
for predicting its behavior in possible applications to bioremediation, information about the
range of conditions that support D. vulgaris growth or survival remains scarce.
Alkaline environments are common in nature (e.g., alkaline ground waters, lakes,
intestinal segments of some higher organisms) and in sites contaminated by human activity (29).
There are some data documenting the presence of SRB in alkaline environments (2), but there is
little known about specific adaptive mechanisms of these bacteria or even whether mechanisms
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Stolyar, S.; He, Q.; He, Z.; Yang, Z.; Borglin, S.E.; Joyner, D. et al. Response of Desulfovibrio vulgaris to Alkaline Stress, article, November 30, 2007; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc896301/m1/3/: accessed November 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.