Interactions of the metal tolerant heterotrophic microorganisms and iron oxidizing autotrophic bacteria from sulphidic mine environment during bioleaching experiments
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Beškoski, Vladimir P.
Vrvic, Miroslav M.
Slavković-Beškoski, Latinka J.
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Iron and sulfur oxidizing chemolithoautotrophic acidophilic bacteria, such as Acidithiobacillus species, hold the dominant role in mine environments characterized by low pH values and high concentrations of reduced sulfur and iron compounds, such as ores, rocks and acid drainage waters from mines. On the other hand, heterotrophic microorganisms, especially their biofilms, from these specific niches are receiving increased attention, but their potential eco-physiological roles have not been fully understood. Biofilms are considered a threat to human health, but biofilms also have beneficial properties as they are deployed in waste recycling and bioremediation systems. We have analyzed interactions of the metal tolerant heterotrophic microorganisms in biofilms with iron oxidizing autotrophic bacteria both from the sulphidic mine environment (copper mine Bor, Serbia). High tolerance to Cu2+, Cd2+ and Cr6+ and the presence of genetic determinants for the respective metal tolerance and biof...ilm-forming ability was shown for indigenous heterotrophic bacteria that included strains of Staphylococcus and Rhodococcus. Two well characterized bacteria-Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 (known biofilm former) and Cupriavidus metallidurans CH34 (known metal resistant representative) were also included in the study. The interaction and survivability of autotrophic iron oxidizing Acidithiobacillus bacteria and biofilms of heterotrophic bacteria during co-cultivation was revealed. Finally, the effect of heterotrophic biofilms on bioleaching process with indigenous iron oxidizing Acidithiobacillus species was shown not to be inhibitory under in vitro conditions. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords:Heavy metals / Biofilms / Bioleaching / Bioremediation / Autotrophic iron oxidizing Acidithiobacillus sp
Source:Journal of Environmental Management, 2016, 172, 151-161
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