There are several natural and anthropomorphic environments where iron- and/or sulfur-oxidizing bacteria thrive in extremely acidic conditions. These acidophilic chemolithautotrophs play important roles in biogeochemical iron and sulfur cycles, are critical catalysts for industrial metal bioleaching operations, and have underexplored potential in future biotechnological applications. However, their unique growth conditions complicate the development of genetic techniques. Over the past few decades genetic tools have been successfully developed for Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans, which serves as a model organism that exhibits both iron- and sulfur-oxidizing capabilities. Conjugal transfer of plasmids has enabled gene overexpression, gene knockouts, and some preliminary metabolic engineering. We highlight the development of genetic systems and recent genetic engineering of A. ferrooxidans, and discuss future perspectives.