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Atomic force microscopy was used to compare the dissolution morphology of iron (oxy)(hydr)oxide coated slides exposed to the dissimilatory iron reducing bacterium Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 and a Type II protein secretion mutant unable to reduce iron minerals without an exogenous electron shuttle. Dissolution morphologies of slides exposed to the wild-type organism were heterogeneous and consistent with the morphology of bacterial microcolonies observed by confocal microscopy. In contrast, dissolution morphologies of slides exposed to wild-type or mutant strains and the electron shuttling compound 9,10-anthraquinone-2,6-disulfonate were homogeneous. These results suggest that microcolony formation by the wild-type strain may limit dissolution whereas respiration using the shuttle compound relieves this limitation.