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Molybdate Reduction to Molybdenum Blue in Microbe Proceeds via a Phosphomolybdate Intermediate

Author(s): Yunus Shukor | Hamzah Adam | Khalid Ithnin | Ibrahim Yunus | Nor Aripin Shamaan | Mohd. Arif Syed

Journal: Journal of Biological Sciences
ISSN 1727-3048

Volume: 7;
Issue: 8;
Start page: 1448;
Date: 2007;
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Keywords: molybdenum blue | molybdate reduction | Bacteria | phosphomolybdate

The involvement of phosphomolybdate as the intermediate during microbial reduction of molybdate to molybdenum blue is a central theme of this study. A profile of pH and molybdenum blue changes during growth of bacteria at low phosphate show that the pH drops steadily to between 5 and 6 during the initial course of bacterial growth; an event important for the conversion of molybdate to a heteropolymolybdate form, before molybdate reduction to molybdenum blue starts to increase after approximately 40 h of static incubation. During this period it was observed that the colour of the media progresses from yellow to green and finally to blue. The molybdenum blue spectra from 600-950 nm from all of the bacteria studied show similar peak maxima in between 860 and 870 nm and a shoulder at 700 nm. The overall scanning profile was found to be very similar to the scanning profile of molybdenum blue from ascorbic acid-reduced phosphomolybdate. The results obtained suggest that the identity of molybdenum blue from heterotrophic bacteria is a reduced form of phosphomolybdate.
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