The role of sulfate-reducing prokaryotes in the coupling of element biogeochemical cycling

Peng Bao, Guo-Xiang Li, Guo-Xin Sun, Yao-Yang Xu, Andrew A Meharg, Yong-Guan Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)
384 Downloads (Pure)


Sulfate-reducing prokaryotes (SRP) represent a diverse group of heterotrophic and autotrophic microorganisms that are ubiquitous in anoxic habitats. In addition to their important role in both sulfur and carbon cycles, SRP are important biotic and abiotic regulators of a variety of sulfur-driven coupled biogeochemical cycling of elements, including: oxygen, nitrogen, chlorine, bromine, iodine and metal(loid)s. SRP gain energy form most of the coupling of element transformation. Once sulfate-reducing conditions are established, sulfide precipitation becomes the predominant abiotic mechanism of metal(loid)s transformation, followed by co-precipitation between metal(loid)s. Anthropogenic contamination, since the industrial revolution, has dramatically disturbed sulfur-driven biogeochemical cycling; making sulfur coupled elements transformation complicated and unpredictable. We hypothesise that sulfur might be detoxication agent for the organic and inorganic toxic compounds, through the metabolic activity of SRP. This review synthesizes the recent advances in the role of SRP in coupled biogeochemical cycling of diverse elements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)398-408
JournalThe Science of the total environment
Early online date26 Sep 2017
Publication statusEarly online date - 26 Sep 2017


  • Journal Article
  • Review


Dive into the research topics of 'The role of sulfate-reducing prokaryotes in the coupling of element biogeochemical cycling'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this