Fe(III), Cr(VI), and Fe(III) mediated Cr(VI) reduction in alkaline media using a Halomonas isolate from Soap Lake, Washington

Document Type


Department or Administrative Unit

Biological Sciences

Publication Date



Hexavalent chromium is one of the most widely distributed environmental contaminants. Given the carcinogenic and mutagenic consequences of Cr(VI) exposure, the release of Cr(VI) into the environment has long been a major concern. While many reports of microbial Cr(VI) reduction are in circulation, very few have demonstrated Cr(VI) reduction under alkaline conditions. Since Cr(VI) exhibits higher mobility in alkaline soils relative to pH neutral soils, and since Cr contamination of alkaline soils is associated with a number of industrial activities, microbial Cr(VI) reduction under alkaline conditions requires attention.

Soda lakes are the most stable alkaline environments on earth, and contain a wide diversity of alkaliphilic organisms. In this study, a bacterial isolate belonging to the Halomonas genus was obtained from Soap Lake, a chemically stratified alkaline lake located in central Washington State. The ability of this isolate to reduce Cr(VI) and Fe(III) was assessed under alkaline (pH = 9), anoxic, non-growth conditions with acetate as an electron donor. Metal reduction rates were quantified using Monod kinetics. In addition, Cr(VI) reduction experiments were carried out in the presence of Fe(III) to evaluate the possible enhancement of Cr(VI) reduction rates through electron shuttling mechanisms. While Fe(III) reduction rates were slow compared to previously reported rates, Cr(VI) reduction rates fell within range of previously reported rates.


This article was originally published in Biodegradation. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

Due to copyright restrictions, this article is not available for free download from ScholarWorks @ CWU.




© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008