Linda Grashoff's Photography Adventures

Posts tagged “chemolithotroph

Sulfur Bacteria in the Lagoon


January 10, 2017

On New Year’s Day David and I went to South Lido Park, perhaps my favorite park around Sarasota. It has such a variety of things to love with the camera. One of the lagoons there showed considerable evidence of the sulfur bacteria. This is not surprising since the water in Sarasota—even coming out of the tap—contains quite a bit of sulfur. When I started coming to Florida 12 years or so ago, I had to drink bottled water—either that or keep the tap water in the refrigerator to kill off the taste. Now I drink water from the faucet without thinking about it; it’s just water to me. I also see signs of sulfur bacteria in Ohio’s Vermilion River but not in such profusion or so often as I do here in Florida. Sulfur bacteria, like the iron bacteria, are chemolithotrophs: they energize their life processes with inorganic compounds in a process of respiration. (This is why my book about the iron bacteria is called They Breathe Iron. If I had written a book about the sulfur bacteria, I might have titled it “They Breathe Sulfur.”)