A new paper by ERG researchers and colleagues from China University of Geosciences, published in Environmental Science and Technology, sheds light on the role of flavins in iron redox cycling. Flavins are an important class of electron transfer mediators secreted by a variety of microorganisms and plants. These compounds are known to participate in the extracellular reduction of ferric iron minerals by dissimilatory metal reducing bacteria. In the present study, the authors show that reduced flavins are able to efficiently re-oxidize soluble ferrous iron. They propose that, under the proper conditions, flavins may therefore catalyze both the reduction and oxidation of iron, and possibly other metals. The first author, Peng Zhang, conducted the experimental work while a visiting researcher in ERG.
The paper can be found here.