Distribution of Extracellular Flavins in a Coastal Marine Basin and Their Relationship to Redox Gradients and Microbial Community Members. Academic Article uri icon


  • The flavins (including flavin mononucleotide (FMN) and riboflavin (RF)) are a class of organic compounds synthesized by organisms to assist in critical redox reactions. While known to be secreted extracellularly by some species in laboratory-based cultures, flavin concentrations are largely unreported in the natural environment. Here, we present pore water and water column profiles of extracellular flavins (FMN and RF) and two degradation products (lumiflavin and lumichrome) from a coastal marine basin in the Southern California Bight alongside ancillary geochemical and 16S rRNA microbial community data. Flavins were detectable at picomolar concentrations in the water column (93-300 pM FMN, 14-40 pM RF) and low nanomolar concentrations in pore waters (250-2070 pM FMN, 11-210 pM RF). Elevated pore water flavin concentrations displayed an increasing trend with sediment depth and were significantly correlated with the total dissolved Fe (negative) and Mn (positive) concentrations. Network analysis revealed a positive relationship between flavins and the relative abundance of Dehalococcoidia and the MSBL9 clade of Planctomycetes, indicating possible secretion by members of these lineages. These results suggest that flavins are a common component of the so-called shared extracellular metabolite pool, especially in anoxic marine sediments where they exist at physiologically relevant concentrations for metal oxide reduction.

published proceedings

  • Environ Sci Technol

altmetric score

  • 16.85

author list (cited authors)

  • Monteverde, D. R., Sylvan, J. B., Suffridge, C., Baronas, J. J., Fichot, E., Fuhrman, J., Berelson, W., & Saudo-Wilhelmy, S. A.

citation count

  • 21

complete list of authors

  • Monteverde, Danielle R||Sylvan, Jason B||Suffridge, Christopher||Baronas, J Jotautas||Fichot, Erin||Fuhrman, Jed||Berelson, William||SaƱudo-Wilhelmy, Sergio A

publication date

  • November 2018