ROLE OF MICRO-ORGANISMS IN SULPHUR CYCLE

By Geethu chellappan 1 sem M.tech

SULPHUR
‡ It is an essential element for life ‡ Sulphur makes up about 1% of the dry weight of organisms as ‡ Constituents of protein (primarily the Scontaining amino acids, cysteine and methionine), in coenzymes (e.g., coenzyme A, biotin, thiamine),in the form of iron-sulfur clusters in metalloproteins, and in bridging ligands

RESERVOIRS OF SULPHUR ‡ In Valence states: -2 (sulfides) to +6 (SO42-) ‡ Sulfate -most stable ‡ Reservoirs Deep oceanic rocks Sediments Freshwater Ice Atmosphere Sea .

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SULPHUR CYCLE SHOWING THE ROLE OF MICROORGANISMS .

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‡ Sulphur enters the atmosphere as H2S and SO2 by combustion of fossil fuels. volcanic eruptions .by decompostion of organic materials and from surface of oceans ‡ H2S also oxidies into SO2 by certain phtoplanktons this SO2 is carried back to earth as H2SO4 in rain water .

and the genus Sulfolobus ‡ Example Thiobacillus thiooxidans ‡ Reaction 2S+2H2O+3O2 2H2SO4 .Oxidation of sulphur ‡ Sulphur (elemental form )cannot be utilized by plants or animals ‡ Oxidation of sulphur to sulphates is done by the bacterial genus Thiobacillus. the genus Thiomicrospira.

. fungi and various prokaryotes.Assimilative Sulfate Reduction (Desulfuration) ‡ The sulfate is reduced to organic groups by plants animals . It occurs anaerobically as well as aerobically ‡ Degradtion of protiens liberates amino acids some of which contain sulphur ‡ This sulphur is released from aminoacids by enzymatic activity of many heterotrophic bacteria ‡ Example Proteus vulgaris.

‡ sulphur is Released into the environment to form H2S Reaction CH2SH CH3 cysteine desulfurase CHNH2 + H2O C=O + H2S + NH3 COOH COOH cysteine pyruvic acid .

Reduction of Sulfate into Sulfide ‡ Sulphates also be reduced to hydrogen sulphide by soil microorganism ‡ Example genera Desulfovibrio and Desulfotomaculum ‡ Reaction 4H2 +CaSO4 H2S + Ca(OH2) + 2H2O .

Oxidization of H2S ‡ Hydrogen sulphide resulting from sulphate reduction and aminoacid decompostion is oxidized to elemental sulphur by photosynthetic sulphur bacteria ‡ example Chromatium and chlorobium ‡ Reaction light CO2 +2H2S (CH2O)x + H2O + 2S .

Marine sulphur cycle ‡ Oceans in the form of dissolved sulfate and sedimentary minerals ‡ Weathering and leaching of rocks and sediments are its main sources to the ocean. ‡ Dimethyl-sulfid (CH3)2S or DMS is the major biogenic gases emitted from sea .

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‡ DMSP synthesis by marine photoautotrophs accounts for about 50 x 1012 moles of sulfur per year. . ‡ Methionine is converted by some phytoplankton into dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) a highly stable and soluble form of reduced sulfur.Photic Zone ‡ Assimilatory uptake of sulfate by phytoplankton (both eukaryotic algae and prokaryotic cyanobacteria) ‡ Most is assimilated into methionine and cysteine.

‡ antioxidant ‡ cryoprotectant .‡ DMSP synthesis is also important in the carbon cycle ‡ its production is estimated to account for 3±10% of the global marine primary production of carbon ‡ And its degradation supplies about 3±10% of the carbon requirements of heterotrophic bacteria in surface waters ‡ osmolyte.

g. subsequently. MeSH) . methanethiol(CH3SH.dinoflagellates and bloom forming taxa e.‡ Some phytoplankton that produce DMSP have enzymesDMSP-lyase. that cleave DMSP into Dimethylsulfide (CH3)2S ( (DMS)and acrylic acid ‡ prymesiophytes . and Alexandrium ‡ Because of Demethylation pathway that does not produce DMS. Bacteria from diverse lineages produce DMS in limited amounts ‡ Instead. this pathway results in formation of methiolpropionate and. Emiliania.

.5 to 1. ‡ Clouds affect the Earths radiation balance and thereby greatly influence its temperature and climate.‡ DMS emissions from the surface ocean to the atmosphere range from 0. attracting molecules of water. Water vapor condenses on these CCN particles. forming the water droplets that make up clouds.0x1012 moles per year ‡ Once it is transferred to the atmosphere the gaseous DMS is oxidized to tropospheric sulfate aerosols and these particulate aerosols act as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN).

oxygen is rapidly exhausted and sulfate is used as an electron acceptor by sulfate-reducing prokaryotes (SRP) to oxidize organic material ‡ As a result of this anaerobic respiration. large amounts of foul-smelling sulfide are produced. .continental margin sediments ‡ As soon as organic material settles on the seafloor.

vacuolated sulfur bacteria of the genera Beggiatoa.‡ Some of the energy in the original organic matter is conserved in the sulfide. and Thiomargarita can oxidize sulphide even when oxygen is absent by using nitrate as eletron acceptor ‡ They can play an important role in phosphorous cycling . and it can be released by a special group of bacteria ‡ The large. Thioploca.

sulfate precipitates out of seawater as anhydrite (CaSO4) at temperatures above 150°C ‡ H2S is produced geothermally within the oceanic crust as a result of rock-sea water interactions at high temperatures ‡ The H2S contained in the ensuing reduced hydrothermal fluids is utilized in energy-yielding reactions by free-living and symbiotic sulfuroxidizing microbes .Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vents ‡ They are highly productive ecosystems ‡ At deep-sea hydrothermal vents.

‡ Elemental sulfur (S0) is a key substrate at hydrothermal vents. particularly at higher temperatures ‡ Thermophilic and hyperthermophilic bacteria and archaea can use S0 as an electron donor in either autotrophic or heterotrophic metabolism .

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