Micro-organisms capable of oxidizing the redox-active transition metal manganese play an important role in the biogeochemical cycle of manganese. In the present mini-review, we focus specifically on Mn(II)-oxidizing bacteria. The mechanisms by which bacteria oxidize Mn(II) include a two-electron oxidation reaction catalysed by a novel multicopper oxidase that produces Mn(IV) oxides as the primary product. Bacteria also produce organic ligands, such as siderophores, that bind to and stabilize Mn(III). The realization that this stabilized Mn(III) is present in many environments and can affect the redox cycles of other elements such as sulfur has made it clear that manganese and the bacteria that oxidize it profoundly affect the Earth's biogeochemistry.

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