Kinetic oxygen isotope effects during dissimilatory sulfate reduction: A combined theoretical and experimental approach

Alexandra V. Turchyn*, Volker Brüchert, Timothy W. Lyons, Gregory S. Engel, Nurgul Balci, Daniel P. Schrag, Benjamin Brunner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Kinetic isotope effects related to the breaking of chemical bonds drive sulfur isotope fractionation during dissimilatory sulfate reduction (DSR), whereas oxygen isotope fractionation during DSR is dominated by exchange between intercellular sulfur intermediates and water. We use a simplified biochemical model for DSR to explore how a kinetic oxygen isotope effect may be expressed. We then explore these relationships in light of evolving sulfur and oxygen isotope compositions (δ34SSO4 and δ18OSO4) during batch culture growth of twelve strains of sulfate-reducing bacteria. Cultured under conditions to optimize growth and with identical δ18OH2O and initial δ18OSO4, all strains show 34S enrichment, whereas only six strains show significant 18O enrichment. The remaining six show no (or minimal) change in δ18OSO4 over the growth of the bacteria. We use these experimental and theoretical results to address three questions: (i) which sulfur intermediates exchange oxygen isotopes with water, (ii) what is the kinetic oxygen isotope effect related to the reduction of adenosine phosphosulfate (APS) to sulfite (SO32-), (iii) does a kinetic oxygen isotope effect impact the apparent oxygen isotope equilibrium values? We conclude that oxygen isotope exchange between water and a sulfur intermediate likely occurs downstream of APS and that our data constrain the kinetic oxygen isotope fractionation for the reduction of APS to sulfite to be smaller than 4‰. This small oxygen isotope effect impacts the apparent oxygen isotope equilibrium as controlled by the extent to which APS reduction is rate-limiting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2011-2024
Number of pages14
JournalGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Volume74
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2010

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