Microbial Transformation of Iodine: From Radioisotopes to Iodine Deficiency. Academic Article uri icon


  • Iodine is a biophilic element that is important for human health, both as an essential component of several thyroid hormonesand, on the other hand, as a potential carcinogen in the form of radioiodine generated by anthropogenic nuclear activity. Iodine exists in multiple oxidation states (-1, 0, +1, +3, +5, and +7), primarily as molecular iodine (I2), iodide (I-), iodate [Formula: see text] , or organic iodine (org-I). The mobility of iodine in the environment is dependent on its speciation and a series of redox, complexation, sorption, precipitation, and microbial reactions. Over the last 15years, there have been significant advances in iodine biogeochemistry, largely spurred by renewed interest in the fate of radioiodine in the environment. We review the biogeochemistry of iodine, with particular emphasis on the microbial processes responsible for volatilization, accumulation, oxidation, and reduction of iodine, as well as the exciting technological potential of these fascinating microorganisms and enzymes.

published proceedings

  • Adv Appl Microbiol

author list (cited authors)

  • Yeager, C. M., Amachi, S., Grandbois, R., Kaplan, D. I., Xu, C., Schwehr, K. A., & Santschi, P. H.

citation count

  • 39

complete list of authors

  • Yeager, Chris M||Amachi, Seigo||Grandbois, Russell||Kaplan, Daniel I||Xu, Chen||Schwehr, Kathy A||Santschi, Peter H

publication date

  • January 2017