Journal article

Genome-resolved metagenomics and detailed geochemical speciation analyses yield new insights into microbial mercury cycling in geothermal springs

Caitlin Gionfriddo, Matthew Stott, Jean Power, Jacob Ogorek, David Krabbenhoft, Ryan Wick, Kathryn Holt, Lin-Xing Chen, Brian Thomas, Jillian Banfield, John Moreau

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory | Published : 2020


ABSTRACT Geothermal systems emit substantial amounts of aqueous, gaseous and methylated mercury, but little is known about microbial influences on mercury speciation. Here we report results from genome-resolved metagenomics and mercury speciation analysis of acid warm springs in the Ngawha Geothermal Field (<55 °C, pH < 4.5), Northland Region, Aotearoa (New Zealand). Our aim was to identify the microorganisms genetically equipped for mercury methylation, demethylation, or Hg(II) reduction to volatile Hg(0) in these springs. Dissolved total and methylated mercury concentrations in two adjacent springs with different mercury speciation ranked among the highest reported from natural sources (25..

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