GFAJ-1 Is an Arsenate-Resistant, Phosphate-Dependent Organism

@article{Erb2012GFAJ1IA,
  title={GFAJ-1 Is an Arsenate-Resistant, Phosphate-Dependent Organism},
  author={Tobias J. Erb and Patrick Kiefer and Bodo Hattendorf and Detlef G{\"u}nther and Julia A. Vorholt},
  journal={Science},
  year={2012},
  volume={337},
  pages={467 - 470}
}
Resisting Arsenic The discovery of a bacterium living in the extreme conditions of Mono Lake, California, created a major controversy because it was claimed to be able to grow solely on arsenic and could substitute arsenate for phosphate in its key macromolecules, including DNA. Working with the same Halomonas spp. bacterium, known as GFAJ-1, and ultrapure reagents, Erb et al. (p. 467) found that the bacterium needed a low level of phosphate (1.6 µM) to grow at all. Rather than significant… 
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A bacterium is described, isolated from Mono Lake, California, that is able to substitute arsenic for phosphorus to sustain its growth and exchange of one of the major bio-elements may have profound evolutionary and geochemical importance.
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Comment on “A Bacterium That Can Grow by Using Arsenic Instead of Phosphorus”
TLDR
Although their data show that GFAJ-1 is an extraordinary extremophile, consideration of arsenate redox chemistry undermines the suggestion that arsenate can replace the physiologic functions of phosphate.
Comment on “A Bacterium That Can Grow by Using Arsenic Instead of Phosphorus”
TLDR
The presence of contaminating phosphate in the growth medium, as well as the omission of important DNA purification steps, cast doubt on the authors’ conclusion that arsenic can substitute for phosphorus in the nucleic acids of this organism.
Comment on “A Bacterium That Can Grow by Using Arsenic Instead of Phosphorus”
TLDR
It is reported that the bacterial strain GFAJ-1 can grow by using arsenic (As) instead of phosphorus (P), noting that the P content in bacteria grown in +As/–P culture medium was far below the quantity needed to support growth.
Comment on “A Bacterium That Can Grow by Using Arsenic Instead of Phosphorus”
TLDR
An apparent stimulatory effect of arsenic on the growth of bacteria isolated from Mono Lake, California, was interpreted as evidence that the cells can grow by using arsenic instead of phosphorus, and may have stimulated the bacterium’s high-affinity phosphorus assimilation pathway, which is active when phosphate levels are low.
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Evidence is presented that Pi is transported as Pi or a very labile intermediate and that accumulated Pi does not exit through the Pst or Pit systems from glucose-grown cells.
Comment on “A Bacterium That Can Grow by Using Arsenic Instead of Phosphorus”
TLDR
This study lacks crucial experimental evidence to support its claim that bacterial strain GFAJ-1 can substitute arsenic for phosphorus in its biomolecules, including nucleic acids and proteins.
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