Owen W. Duckworth, PO Box 7619, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, Nohemi Almaraz, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, Denver, CO, Andrew Hays Whitaker, Crop and Soil Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC and Megan Y. Andrews, Center for Integrated Fungal Research, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
The role of microorganisms in the oxidation of iron is of critical importance to many scientific fields, and has real-world applications in soil remediation and water treatment. Iron oxidation is a common phenomenon associated with the discharge of anoxic, iron-rich groundwater into rivers and creeks where oxygen is readily available. Yet, neutrophilic iron-oxidizing bacteria (FeOB) exist primarily in locations with favorable redoxcline, circumneutral pH and high Fe (II) concentrations. Thus, environmental and water chemistry factors are major contributors to the composition and morphologies of each site. To better understand the role of bacteria in Fe mineral production, we sampled several creeks in North Carolina for 9 weeks in the summer of 2015. Water chemistry was measured, and microbes were isolated to determine what bacteria were dominant at different times of the summer. Overall, This study seeks to elucidate the characteristics of various FeOB niches that contribute to the formation of biomineral and improve our understanding on how water chemistry and bacterial communities affect biomineral formation.