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Sequestration of metal and metalloid ions by thermophilic bacteria

This Ph. D. thesis presents results and conclusions from studies 1) investigating the interaction between metal and metalloid ions and thermophilic bacteria, and 2) characterizing microbial populations in a geothermally active habitat with relatively high concentrations of metalloid ions and compounds. In initial cadmium ion toxicity assays, the minimal inhibition concentration for 46 thermophilic bacteria of the genera Aneurinibacillus, Anoxybacillus, Bacillus, Brevibacillus, Geobacillus, and Thermus were determined. The highest tolerances to cadmium ions (Cd2+) in the range of 400 to 3200 micro;M were observed for species belonging to the genus Geobacillus. The thermophilic Gram-positive bacteria Geobacillus stearothermophilus and G. thermocatenulatus were selected to describe further biosorption reactions between cadmium ions and chemically reactive functional groups (potential ligands) within and onto the bacterial cell walls. Data obtained from electrophoretic mobility, potentiometric titration and cadmium ion adsorption experiments were used to quantify the number and concentrations of ligands and to determine the thermodynamic stability constants for the ligand-cation complexes. The first reported surface complexation models (SCMs) quantifying metal ion adsorption by thermophilic microorganisms predicted cadmium adsorption and desorption by both studied Geobacillus strains over a range of pH values and for different biomasses. The results indicated the functional group, with a deprotonation constant pK value of approximately 3.8, to be more dominant in cation biosorption accounting for 66 and 80% of all titrable groups for G. thermocatenulatus and G. stearothermophilus, respectively. The generated SCMs are different from model parameters obtained from mesophilic species that have been studied to date and might indicate a different biosorption behavior for both studied Geobacillus strains. Another objective of this thesis was to characterize microbial populations in the hot spring Champagne Pool, located in Waiotapu, New Zealand. The thermal spring is approximately 65 m in diameter and discharges water at 75eg; C and pH 5.5, which is oversaturated with arsenic and antimony compounds that precipitate and form orange deposits. Recovered nucleic acids and adenosine 5'-triphosphate (ATP) concentrations obtained for Champagne Pool water samples indicated low microbial density and were in good agreement with relatively low cell numbers of 5.6 plusmn; 0.5 x10^6 cells per ml. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and 16S rRNA gene clone library analyses revealed the abundance of Sulfurihydrogenibium, Sulfolobus and Thermofilum-like populations in Champagne Pool. Two novel bacteria and one novel archaeon were successfully isolated with a distant phylogenetic relationship to Sulfurihydrogenibium, Thermoanaerobacter, and Thermococcus, respectively. Genotypic and metabolic characteristics differentiated isolate CP.B2 from described species of the genus Sulfurihydrogenibium. CP.B2 represents a novel genus within the Aquificales order, for which the name Venenivibrio stagnispumantis gen. nov., sp. nov. is proposed. V. stagnispumantis is a thermophilic, chemolithothrophic bacterium, that utilizes molecular hydrogen as electron donor and oxygen as electron acceptor and displayed growth in the presence of up to 8 mM NaAsO2 (As3+) and more than 20 mM Na2HAsO4.7H2O (As5+). However, growth was not observed when Na2HAsO4.7H2O and NaAsO2 were provided as the sole electron acceptor and donor pair. Arsenic resistance was conferred by the genes arsA and arsB
Type of thesis
Hetzer, A. (2007). Sequestration of metal and metalloid ions by thermophilic bacteria (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/2642
The University of Waikato
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