Abstract

Arsenic mobilization and Fe(III) reduction in acetate-amended sediments collected from a range of depths from an aquifer with elevated groundwater arsenic concentrations in West Bengal were monitored over a 1 month period. Significant arsenic release was noted in sediment collected from 24 m and 45 m depth, with some Fe(III) reduction also observed in the 24 m sample. The structure of the microbial communities present in the sediments prior to incubation showed marked differences down the sediment column. Profiling of the microbial community in the 24 m and 45 m samples revealed a relatively complex make-up, with Acinetobacter species comprising the bulk of the 24 m sedimentary bacterial population, but no previously characterized As(V)-reducers were detected in either sample.

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