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Minerals 2019, 9(2), 82; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9020082

Responses of Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans A01 to Individual and Joint Nickel (Ni2+) and Ferric (Fe3+)

1
School of Minerals Processing and Bioengineering, Central South University, Changsha 410083, China
2
Key Laboratory of Biometallurgy of Ministry of Education, Changsha 410083, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 November 2018 / Revised: 2 January 2019 / Accepted: 10 January 2019 / Published: 29 January 2019
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Abstract

Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans A01 is widely used in bioleaching processes and commonly thrives in most metal-rich environments. However, interactions between different heavy metals remain obscure. In this study, we elaborated the effect of ferric iron on the growth and gene expression of At. thiooxidans A01 under the stress of nickel. The results showed that 600 mM Ni2+ completely inhibited the growth and sulfur metabolism of At. thiooxidans A01. However, trace amounts of Fe3+ (0.5 mM) facilitated the growth of At. thiooxidans A01 in the presence of 600 mM Ni2+. With the addition of 5 mM Fe3+, the maximum cell density reached 1.84 × 108 cell/mL, and pH value was 0.95. In addition, metal resistance-related and sulfur metabolism genes were significantly up regulated with extra ferric iron. Taking the whole process into account, the promoting effect of Fe3+ addition can be attributed to the following: (1) alleviation of the effects of Ni2+ toxicity and restoring the growth of At. thiooxidans A01, (2) a choice of multiple pathways to export nickel ion and producing precursor of chelators of heavy metals. This can suggest that microorganisms may widely exhibit metabolic activity in iron-rich environments with heavy metals. Our study will facilitate the technique development for the processing of ore bodies with highly challenging ore compositions. View Full-Text
Keywords: Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans A01; nickel resistance; ferric iron; bioleaching Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans A01; nickel resistance; ferric iron; bioleaching
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Chen, A.; Hao, X.; Xiao, Y.; Zou, K.; Liu, H.; Liu, X.; Yin, H.; Qiu, G.; Liang, Y. Responses of Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans A01 to Individual and Joint Nickel (Ni2+) and Ferric (Fe3+). Minerals 2019, 9, 82.

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