Microbial metabolism of reduced phosphorus compounds

Andrea K. White, William W. Metcalf

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The field of bacterial phosphorus (P) metabolism has undergone a significant transformation in the past decade owing to the elucidation of widespread and diverse pathways for the metabolism of reduced P compounds. The characterization of these pathways dramatically changes the current and narrow view of P metabolism and our understanding of the forms in which P is produced and available in the environment. In this review, recent investigations into the biochemical pathways and molecular genetics of reduced P metabolism in bacteria are discussed. Particular attention is paid to recently elucidated metabolic reactions and the genetic characterization of biosynthesis of organic reduced P compounds and to the pathways for oxidation of the inorganic reduced P compounds hypophosphite and phosphite.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)379-400
Number of pages22
JournalAnnual review of microbiology
StatePublished - Nov 14 2007


  • Hypophosphite
  • Phosphine
  • Phosphite
  • Phosphonates
  • Phosphorus biochemistry
  • Phosphorus cycling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology


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