Special Issue "Interactions between Microbes and Minerals"

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A special issue of Minerals (ISSN 2075-163X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 October 2013)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Danielle Fortin

Department Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, K1N 6N5, Canada
Website | E-Mail
Interests: iron cycling; biogenic minerals; iron bacteria; sulfur bacteria; mine tailings; exobiology
Guest Editor
Dr. Caroline Peacock

School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK
Website | E-Mail
Interests: biogeochemistry; metal-mineral-microbe interactions; mineral-water interfaces; trace-elements; palaeoenvironments; synchrotron spectroscopy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Interactions between microbes and minerals have been shown to occur in a vast array of natural pristine and contaminated environments. Earlier studies have for instance revealed that bacteria are efficient sorbents due to the various binding sites on their cell wall. In a wide array of environments these bacteria are found spatially associated with minerals, including oxides, carbonates, silicates, etc., through mineral nucleation reactions that occur on cell walls under saturation conditions, and mineral precipitation reactions in the presence of both non-Fe and Fe metabolising bacteria. Despite the large body of literature on the topic, there is still a need to further investigate microbe-mineral interactions, especially in the context of mining and mineral processing where microbes can play an important role in metal and metalloid immobilization or remobilization. The goal of this special issue is to gather recent advances in the field of microbe-mineral interactions, with a focus on bacteria, viruses and fungi. We also welcome studies on the discovery of new strains and metabolic pathways which can have implications for metal recovery in the mining sector.

Prof. Dr. Danielle Fortin
Dr. Caroline Peacock
Guest Editors

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Minerals is an international peer-reviewed Open Access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. For this special issue, the Article Processing Charge (APC) will be waived. English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.

Keywords

  • bacteria
  • fungi
  • virus
  • metal
  • metalloid
  • radionuclide
  • biogenic mineral
  • mining
  • Published Papers (7 papers)

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    Research

    Jump to: Review

    Open AccessArticle Membrane Vesicles as a Novel Strategy for Shedding Encrusted Cell Surfaces
    Minerals 2014, 4(1), 74-88; doi:10.3390/min4010074
    Received: 10 December 2013 / Revised: 24 January 2014 / Accepted: 27 January 2014 / Published: 7 February 2014
    Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2816 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
    Abstract
    Surface encrustation by minerals, which impedes cellular metabolism, is a potential hazard for microbes. The reduction of U(VI) to U(IV) by Shewanella oneidensis strain MR-1 leads to the precipitation of the mineral uraninite, as well as a non-crystalline U(IV) product. The wild-type (WT)
    [...] Read more.
    Surface encrustation by minerals, which impedes cellular metabolism, is a potential hazard for microbes. The reduction of U(VI) to U(IV) by Shewanella oneidensis strain MR-1 leads to the precipitation of the mineral uraninite, as well as a non-crystalline U(IV) product. The wild-type (WT) strain can produce extracellular polymeric substances (EPS), prompting precipitation of U some distance from the cells and precluding encrustation. Using cryo-transmission electron microscopy and scanning transmission X-ray microscopy we show that, in the biofilm-deficient mutant ∆mxdA, as well as in the WT strain to a lesser extent, we observe the formation of membrane vesicles (MVs) as an additional means to lessen encrustation. Additionally, under conditions in which the WT does not produce EPS, formation of MVs was the only observed mechanism to mitigate cell encrustation. Viability studies comparing U-free controls to cells exposed to U showed a decrease in the number of viable cells in conditions where MVs alone are detected, yet no loss of viability when cells produce both EPS and MVs. We conclude that MV formation is a microbial strategy to shed encrusted cell surfaces but is less effective at maintaining cell viability than the precipitation of U on EPS. Full article
    (This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactions between Microbes and Minerals)
    Open AccessArticle Investigating the Effects of Se Solid Phase Substitution in Jarosite Minerals Influenced by Bacterial Reductive Dissolution
    Minerals 2014, 4(1), 17-36; doi:10.3390/min4010017
    Received: 17 October 2013 / Revised: 8 January 2014 / Accepted: 15 January 2014 / Published: 22 January 2014
    PDF Full-text (1637 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
    Abstract
    Jarosite minerals (AB3(TO4)2(OH)6) are iron hydroxysulfate minerals that can readily incorporate trace metals into their mineral structure. A range of metals can be incorporated into the jarosite structure, including oxyanions such as selenate (SeO4
    [...] Read more.
    Jarosite minerals (AB3(TO4)2(OH)6) are iron hydroxysulfate minerals that can readily incorporate trace metals into their mineral structure. A range of metals can be incorporated into the jarosite structure, including oxyanions such as selenate (SeO42−). Selenium is a micronutrient, but is toxic in relatively low doses. Selenium is present in aqueous systems in its two oxyanion forms: selenate and selenite (SeO32−). The tetrahedral sulfate coordination site can be completely substituted for selenate in jarosite minerals (NaFe3(SO4)x(SeO4)2-x(OH)6). Bacteria have been observed to reduce Se oxyanions to both more reduced forms and insoluble elemental Se. This is a pathway for selenium immobilization at contaminated sites. This experiment investigates the reductive dissolution of two Se-jarosites (solid substitution containing high and low selenium concentrations) in the presence of Shewanella putrefaciens CN32. It was observed that both Fe(III) and selenate were metabolically reduced and released into solution through jarosite dissolution . Selenate was also found to be incorporated intracellularly and reduced to particulate Se which was released upon cell lysis. Compared to the abiotic samples, enhanced dissolution was found with both the live and dead bacteria treatments. Full article
    (This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactions between Microbes and Minerals)
    Open AccessArticle Mineralogical Study of a Biologically-Based Treatment System That Removes Arsenic, Zinc and Copper from Landfill Leachate
    Minerals 2013, 3(4), 427-449; doi:10.3390/min3040427
    Received: 20 October 2013 / Revised: 27 November 2013 / Accepted: 5 December 2013 / Published: 16 December 2013
    Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (7315 KB) | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
    Abstract
    Mineralogical characterization by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and a high throughput automated quantitative evaluation of minerals by scanning electron microscopy (QEMSCAN) was conducted on samples from a sulphate-reducing biochemical reactor (BCR) treating high concentrations of metals (As, Zn, Cu) in smelter waste landfill seepage.
    [...] Read more.
    Mineralogical characterization by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and a high throughput automated quantitative evaluation of minerals by scanning electron microscopy (QEMSCAN) was conducted on samples from a sulphate-reducing biochemical reactor (BCR) treating high concentrations of metals (As, Zn, Cu) in smelter waste landfill seepage. The samples were also subjected to energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) analysis of specific particles. The bulk analysis results revealed that the samples consisted mainly of silicate and carbonate minerals. More detailed phase analysis indicated four different classes: zinc-arsenic sulphosalts/sulphates, zinc-arsenic oxides, zinc phosphates and zinc-lead sulphosalts/sulphates. This suggests that sulphates and sulphides are the predominant types of Zn and As minerals formed in the BCR. Sphalerite (ZnS) was a common mineral observed in many of the samples. In addition, X-ray point analysis showed evidence of As and Zn coating around feldspar and amphibole particles. The presence of arsenic-zinc-iron, with or without cadmium particles, indicated arsenopyrite minerals. Copper-iron-sulphide particles suggested chalcopyrite (CuFeS2) and tennantite (Cu,Fe)12As4S13. Microbial communities found in each sample were correlated with metal content to describe taxonomic groups associated with high-metal samples. The research results highlight mineral grains that were present or formed at the site that might be the predominant forms of immobilized arsenic, zinc and copper. Full article
    (This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactions between Microbes and Minerals)
    Open AccessArticle Microbial Reducibility of Fe(III) Phases Associated with the Genesis of Iron Ore Caves in the Iron Quadrangle, Minas Gerais, Brazil
    Minerals 2013, 3(4), 395-411; doi:10.3390/min3040395
    Received: 6 September 2013 / Revised: 2 November 2013 / Accepted: 15 November 2013 / Published: 26 November 2013
    Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1738 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
    Abstract
    The iron mining regions of Brazil contain thousands of “iron ore caves” (IOCs) that form within Fe(III)-rich deposits. The mechanisms by which these IOCs form remain unclear, but the reductive dissolution of Fe(III) (hydr)oxides by Fe(III) reducing bacteria (FeRB) could provide a microbiological
    [...] Read more.
    The iron mining regions of Brazil contain thousands of “iron ore caves” (IOCs) that form within Fe(III)-rich deposits. The mechanisms by which these IOCs form remain unclear, but the reductive dissolution of Fe(III) (hydr)oxides by Fe(III) reducing bacteria (FeRB) could provide a microbiological mechanism for their formation. We evaluated the susceptibility of Fe(III) deposits associated with these caves to reduction by the FeRB Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 to test this hypothesis. Canga, an Fe(III)-rich duricrust, contained poorly crystalline Fe(III) phases that were more susceptible to reduction than the Fe(III) (predominantly hematite) associated with banded iron formation (BIF), iron ore, and mine spoil. In all cases, the addition of a humic acid analogue enhanced Fe(III) reduction, presumably by shuttling electrons from S. oneidensis to Fe(III) phases. The particle size and quartz-Si content of the solids appeared to exert control on the rate and extent of Fe(III) reduction by S. oneidensis, with more bioreduction of Fe(III) associated with solid phases containing more quartz. Our results provide evidence that IOCs may be formed by the activities of Fe(III) reducing bacteria (FeRB), and the rate of this formation is dependent on the physicochemical and mineralogical characteristics of the Fe(III) phases of the surrounding rock. Full article
    (This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactions between Microbes and Minerals)
    Open AccessArticle Geobiological Cycling of Gold: From Fundamental Process Understanding to Exploration Solutions
    Minerals 2013, 3(4), 367-394; doi:10.3390/min3040367
    Received: 7 September 2013 / Revised: 16 October 2013 / Accepted: 21 October 2013 / Published: 4 November 2013
    Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (3295 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
    Abstract
    Microbial communities mediating gold cycling occur on gold grains from (sub)-tropical, (semi)-arid, temperate and subarctic environments. The majority of identified species comprising these biofilms are β-Proteobacteria. Some bacteria, e.g., Cupriavidus metallidurans, Delftia acidovorans and Salmonella typhimurium, have developed biochemical responses to
    [...] Read more.
    Microbial communities mediating gold cycling occur on gold grains from (sub)-tropical, (semi)-arid, temperate and subarctic environments. The majority of identified species comprising these biofilms are β-Proteobacteria. Some bacteria, e.g., Cupriavidus metallidurans, Delftia acidovorans and Salmonella typhimurium, have developed biochemical responses to deal with highly toxic gold complexes. These include gold specific sensing and efflux, co-utilization of resistance mechanisms for other metals, and excretion of gold-complex-reducing siderophores that ultimately catalyze the biomineralization of nano-particulate, spheroidal and/or bacteriomorphic gold. In turn, the toxicity of gold complexes fosters the development of specialized biofilms on gold grains, and hence the cycling of gold in surface environments. This was not reported on isoferroplatinum grains under most near-surface environments, due to the lower toxicity of mobile platinum complexes. The discovery of gold-specific microbial responses can now drive the development of geobiological exploration tools, e.g., gold bioindicators and biosensors. Bioindicators employ genetic markers from soils and groundwaters to provide information about gold mineralization processes, while biosensors will allow in-field analyses of gold concentrations in complex sampling media. Full article
    (This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactions between Microbes and Minerals)
    Open AccessArticle Potentiostatically Poised Electrodes Mimic Iron Oxide and Interact with Soil Microbial Communities to Alter the Biogeochemistry of Arctic Peat Soils
    Minerals 2013, 3(3), 318-336; doi:10.3390/min3030318
    Received: 16 August 2013 / Revised: 11 September 2013 / Accepted: 13 September 2013 / Published: 23 September 2013
    Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1324 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
    Abstract
    Dissimilatory metal-reducing bacteria are ubiquitous in soils worldwide, possess the ability to transfer electrons outside of their cell membranes, and are capable of respiring with various metal oxides. Reduction of iron oxides is one of the more energetically favorable forms of anaerobic respiration,
    [...] Read more.
    Dissimilatory metal-reducing bacteria are ubiquitous in soils worldwide, possess the ability to transfer electrons outside of their cell membranes, and are capable of respiring with various metal oxides. Reduction of iron oxides is one of the more energetically favorable forms of anaerobic respiration, with a higher energy yield than both sulfate reduction and methanogenesis. As such, this process has significant implications for soil carbon balances, especially in the saturated, carbon-rich soils of the northern latitudes. However, the dynamics of these microbial processes within the context of the greater soil microbiome remain largely unstudied. Previously, we have demonstrated the capability of potentiostatically poised electrodes to mimic the redox potential of iron(III)- and humic acid-compounds and obtain a measure of metal-reducing respiration. Here, we extend this work by utilizing poised electrodes to provide an inexaustable electron acceptor for iron- and humic acid-reducing microbes, and by measuring the effects on both microbial community structure and greenhouse gas emissions. The application of both nonpoised and poised graphite electrodes in peat soils stimulated methane emissions by 15%–43% compared to soils without electrodes. Poised electrodes resulted in higher (13%–24%) methane emissions than the nonpoised electrodes. The stimulation of methane emissions for both nonpoised and poised electrodes correlated with the enrichment of proteobacteria, verrucomicrobia, and bacteroidetes. Here, we demonstrate a tool for precisely manipulating localized redox conditions in situ (via poised electrodes) and for connecting microbial community dynamics with larger ecosystem processes. This work provides a foundation for further studies examining the role of dissimilatory metal-reducing bacteria in global biogeochemical cycles. Full article
    (This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactions between Microbes and Minerals)
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    Review

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    Open AccessReview Arsenic-Microbe-Mineral Interactions in Mining-Affected Environments
    Minerals 2013, 3(4), 337-351; doi:10.3390/min3040337
    Received: 29 August 2013 / Revised: 20 September 2013 / Accepted: 23 September 2013 / Published: 9 October 2013
    Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1077 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
    Abstract
    The toxic element arsenic (As) occurs widely in solid and liquid mine wastes. Aqueous forms of arsenic are taken up in As-bearing sulfides, arsenides, sulfosalts, oxides, oxyhydroxides, Fe-oxides, -hydroxides, -oxyhydroxides and -sulfates, and Fe-, Ca-Fe- and other arsenates. Although a considerable body of
    [...] Read more.
    The toxic element arsenic (As) occurs widely in solid and liquid mine wastes. Aqueous forms of arsenic are taken up in As-bearing sulfides, arsenides, sulfosalts, oxides, oxyhydroxides, Fe-oxides, -hydroxides, -oxyhydroxides and -sulfates, and Fe-, Ca-Fe- and other arsenates. Although a considerable body of research has demonstrated that microbes play a significant role in the precipitation and dissolution of these As-bearing minerals, and in the alteration of the redox state of As, in natural and simulated mining environments, the molecular-scale mechanisms of these interactions are still not well understood. Further research is required using traditional and novel mineralogical, spectroscopic and microbiological techniques to further advance this field, and to help design remediation schemes. Full article
    (This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactions between Microbes and Minerals)

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