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Minerals 2016, 6(4), 100;

Effect of Extracellular Polymeric Substances on Surface Properties and Attachment Behavior of Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans

1,2,* , 1,2
School of Minerals Processing and Bioengineering, Central South University, Changsha 410083, China
Key Laboratory of Biometallury of Ministry of Education, Central South University, Changsha 410083, China
Biofilm Centre, Aquatische Biotechnologie, Universität Duisburg-Essen, Universitätsstraße 5, Essen 45141, Germany
Hualan Biological Bacterin Co., Ltd., Jia No.1, Hualan Ave., Xinxiang 453003, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: W. Scott Dunbar
Received: 29 June 2016 / Revised: 12 September 2016 / Accepted: 22 September 2016 / Published: 28 September 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biotechnologies and Mining)
Full-Text   |   PDF [3069 KB, uploaded 28 September 2016]   |  


Bacterial contact leaching of ores is more effective than non-contact leaching. Adhesion is the first step for leaching bacteria to form a biofilm on a mineral surface. Extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) are pivotal for mediating bacterial adhesion to a substratum. In order to clarify the role of EPS, we measured the adhesion forces between chalcopyrite-, sulfur- or FeSO4·7H2O-grown cells of Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans and chalcopyrite by an atomic force microscope (AFM) before and after EPS removal. Surface properties of these cells were assessed by measurements of the contact angle, zeta potential, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and acid-base titration. Bacterial attachment to chalcopyrite was monitored for 140 min. The results indicate that the EPS control the surface properties of the cells. In addition, the surface properties are decisive for adhesion. The adhesion forces and the amounts of attached cells decreased dramatically after removing EPS, which was not dependent on the preculture. View Full-Text
Keywords: AFM; Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans; energy source; attachment; EPS AFM; Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans; energy source; attachment; EPS

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Li, Q.; Wang, Q.; Zhu, J.; Zhou, S.; Gan, M.; Jiang, H.; Sand, W. Effect of Extracellular Polymeric Substances on Surface Properties and Attachment Behavior of Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans. Minerals 2016, 6, 100.

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