How Iron Iodate is Oxidized in the Microbiome

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Iron(II) iodate is a gray-black solid powder, with a molecular formula of FeI2, and it is soluble in cold water. It has many uses, including a catalyst in organic reactions, and it is also used as a compound in semiconductors and other high purity applications.

Iodide is a naturally occurring compound that is found in the environment. It has a variety of interesting properties, such as photochemistry and antimicrobial properties, that make it an attractive chemical to study. The most prominent is that it can be converted to iodine, which is an important element in the human body.

The most effective way to do this is with the help of a microorganism. We have recently demonstrated that a sulfate reducing bacteria, Desulfovibrio desulfuricans, can reduce iodate to the iodide phenakisic molecule at the appropriate pH. This iodate reducing bacterium is able to do this via a surprisingly complex biochemical process.

We have also shown that a dissimilatory ferrous iron oxidizing bacterium, Shewanella putrefaciens, can reduce iodate to iodide in a similar manner, but at a significantly lower pH. This iodate oxidizing bacteria may be a key component in the redox puzzle that is iodate transport in nature. The best news is that this iodate oxidizing bacteria can be isolated in the lab by means of simple aeration and dehydration techniques.