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The Production of $^{34}$S-Depleted Sulfide During Bacterial Disproportionation of Elemental Sulfur

Donald E. Canfield and Bo Thamdrup
Science
New Series, Vol. 266, No. 5193 (Dec. 23, 1994), pp. 1973-1975
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2885277
Page Count: 3
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The Production of $^{34}$S-Depleted Sulfide During Bacterial Disproportionation of Elemental Sulfur
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Abstract

Bacteria that disproportionate elemental sulfur fractionate sulfur isotopes such that sulfate is enriched in sulfur-34 by 12.6 to 15.3 per mil and sulfide is depleted in sulfur-34 by 7.3 to 8.6 per mil. Through a repeated cycle of sulfide oxidation to S$^0$ and subsequent disproportionation, these bacteria can deplete sedimentary sulfides in sulfur-34. A prediction, borne out by observation, is that more extensive sulfide oxidation will lead to sulfides that are more depleted in sulfur-34. Thus, the oxidative part of the sulfur cycle creates circumstances by which sulfides become more depleted in sulfur-34 than would be possible with sulfate-reducing bacteria alone.

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