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Microbial Metal Research

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Microbiology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2022) | Viewed by 12351

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
Interests: biohydrometallurgy; biocorrosion; bioremediation
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In order to better understand and explain the connection between microorganisms and the substantive metals, metallic minerals, the environment related to metallurgical compounds or metals, and to underscore the importance of microbes in environmental remediation in the mining industries, the Special Issue would like to provide an extensive exploration of microbiology and metals, comprehensive coverage of varied aspects of biohydrometallurgy, biocorrosion, and bioremediation.

Biohydrometallurgy (e.g., bioleaching and biomining) is a technology for metal recovery carried out by extremely acidophilic microorganisms, which thrive at a pH of below 3. These microorganisms dissolve the metallic minerals through oxidizing iron and/or reduced inorganic sulfur compounds (RISCs).

Biocorrosion refers to the deterioration of materials, such as steel and concrete, influenced by microorganisms, which is also regarded as microbiologically influenced corrosion (MIC). MIC efficiency is affected by the microbes in the environment and by the material composition and surface characteristics.

Bioremediation of metal contaminated environments predominantly realized through biosorption, bio-oxidation, reduction, and other biological activities, which are environmentally friendly new technologies. Microorganism–microorganism and microorganism–contaminated environment interactions control the pollutant removal effect.

Biohydrometallurgy, biocorrosion, and bioremediation of metal contaminant are concerned with the symbiotic relationship between microbiology, minerals, metals, and the environment. The role of microbes, the iron and sulfur metabolic pathway, environmental adaptive mechanisms of microorganisms, the interaction of microbiota with their environment, the structure and function of biofilms, and the mechanisms of extracellular electron transfer in these processes are replete with unknowns.

This Special Issue aims to focus on recent advances in 1) the molecular mechanism of the symbiotic relationships between microbes, metal, and the environment; 2) how substantive metals, metallic minerals, and metallic elements are dissolved or transformed by microbes or microbiomes; and 3) the biological mechanisms (biofilm form or extracellular electron transfer) involved in the interaction between microorganisms and metals. Research articles, communications, and reviews are welcome.

Dr. Chengying Jiang
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • biohydrometallurgy
  • bioleaching
  • biomining
  • biocorrosion
  • biofilms
  • extracellular electron transfer
  • bioremediation

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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17 pages, 2422 KiB  
Article
Aquatic Bacteria Rheinheimera tangshanensis New Ability for Mercury Pollution Removal
by Mengmeng Zhao, Gege Zheng, Xiuyun Kang, Xiaoyan Zhang, Junming Guo, Shaomei Wang, Yiping Chen and Lingui Xue
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(5), 5009; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24055009 - 05 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1887
Abstract
To explore the strong tolerance of bacteria to Hg pollution, aquatic Rheinheimera tangshanensis (RTS-4) was separated from industrial sewage, with a maximum Hg(II) tolerant concentration of 120 mg/L and a maximum Hg(II) removal rate of 86.72 ± 2.11%, in 48 h under optimum [...] Read more.
To explore the strong tolerance of bacteria to Hg pollution, aquatic Rheinheimera tangshanensis (RTS-4) was separated from industrial sewage, with a maximum Hg(II) tolerant concentration of 120 mg/L and a maximum Hg(II) removal rate of 86.72 ± 2.11%, in 48 h under optimum culture conditions. The Hg(II) bioremediation mechanisms of RTS-4 bacteria are as follows: (1) the reduction of Hg(II) through Hg reductase encoded by the mer operon; (2) the adsorption of Hg(II) through the production of extracellular polymeric substances (EPSs); and (3) the adsorption of Hg(II) using dead bacterial biomass (DBB). At low concentrations [Hg(II) ≤ 10 mg/L], RTS-4 bacteria employed Hg(II) reduction and DBB adsorption to remove Hg(II), and the removal percentages were 54.57 ± 0.36% and 45.43 ± 0.19% of the total removal efficiency, respectively. At moderate concentrations [10 mg/L < Hg(II) ≤ 50 mg/L], all three mechanisms listed above coexisted, with the percentages being 0.26 ± 0.01%, 81.70 ± 2.31%, and 18.04 ± 0.62% of the total removal rate, respectively. At high concentrations [Hg(II) > 50 mg/L], the bacteria primary employed EPS and DBB adsorption to remove Hg(II), where the percentages were 19.09 ± 0.04% and 80.91 ± 2.41% of the total removal rate, respectively. When all three mechanisms coexisted, the reduction of Hg(II) occurred within 8 h, the adsorption of Hg(II) by EPSs and DBB occurred within 8–20 h and after 20 h, respectively. This study provides an efficient and unused bacterium for the biological treatment of Hg pollution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Metal Research)
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15 pages, 3104 KiB  
Article
Oleic Acid Facilitates Cd Excretion by Increasing the Abundance of Burkholderia in Cd-Exposed Mice
by Zhijia Fang, Yinyan Chen, Yongbin Li, Lijun Sun, Qi Deng, Jingwen Wang and Ravi Gooneratne
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(23), 14718; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms232314718 - 25 Nov 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1327
Abstract
As a global pollutant, cadmium (Cd) can easily enter the body through food chains, threatening human health. Most Cd is initially absorbed in the gut, with the gut microbiota playing a pivotal role in reducing Cd absorption and accumulation. This study assessed the [...] Read more.
As a global pollutant, cadmium (Cd) can easily enter the body through food chains, threatening human health. Most Cd is initially absorbed in the gut, with the gut microbiota playing a pivotal role in reducing Cd absorption and accumulation. This study assessed the effects of three fatty acids on Cd accumulation and toxicity in Cd-exposed mice. The results showed that oleic acid (OA) was the most effective in facilitating Cd excretion in mice among these fatty acids. The use of OA led to reduced Cd accumulation in the organs and increased Cd content in the feces. The metagenomic analysis of the gut microbiota showed that the genus Burkholderia was the most significantly restored by OA in Cd-exposed mice. Burkholderia cepacia, as the type species for the genus Burkholderia, also exhibited strong Cd tolerance after treatment with OA. Furthermore, the electron microscopy analysis showed that most of the Cd was adsorbed on the surface of B. cepacia, where the extracellular polymeric substances (EPSs) secreted by B. cepacia play a key role, displaying a strong capacity for Cd adsorption. The peak at 2355 cm−1 and the total sulfhydryl group content of EPSs showed significant increases following co-treatment with Cd and OA. The results demonstrated the potential roles that gut Burkholderia may play in OA-mediated Cd excretion in mice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Metal Research)
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15 pages, 2316 KiB  
Article
Enhancement Mechanism of Stibnite Dissolution Mediated by Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans under Extremely Acidic Condition
by Can Wang, Jin-Lan Xia, Hong-Chang Liu, Yu-Hang Zhou, Zhen-Yuan Nie, Lu Chen and Wen-Sheng Shu
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(7), 3580; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23073580 - 25 Mar 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2023
Abstract
Oxidative dissolution of stibnite (Sb2S3), one of the most prevalent geochemical processes for antimony (Sb) release, can be promoted by Sb-oxidizing microbes, which were studied under alkaline and neutral conditions but rarely under acidic conditions. This work is dedicated [...] Read more.
Oxidative dissolution of stibnite (Sb2S3), one of the most prevalent geochemical processes for antimony (Sb) release, can be promoted by Sb-oxidizing microbes, which were studied under alkaline and neutral conditions but rarely under acidic conditions. This work is dedicated to unraveling the enhancement mechanism of stibnite dissolution by typical acidophile Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans under extremely acidic conditions. The results of solution behavior showed that the dissolution of Sb2S3 was significantly enhanced by A. ferrooxidans, with lower pH and higher redox potential values and higher [Sb(III)] and [Sb(V)] than the sterile control. The surface morphology results showed that the cells adsorbed onto the mineral surface and formed biofilms. Much more filamentous secondary minerals were formed for the case with A. ferrooxidans. Further mineral phase compositions and Sb/S speciation transformation analyses showed that more secondary products Sb2O3/SbO2, Sb2O5/SbO3, SO42−, as well as intermediates, such as S0, S2O32− were formed for the biotic case, indicating that the dissolution of Sb2S3 and the Sb/S speciation transformation was promoted by A. ferrooxidans. These results were further clarified by the comparative transcriptome analysis. This work demonstrated that through the interaction with Sb2S3, A. ferrooxidans promotes S/Sb oxidation, so as to enhance S/Sb transformation and thus the dissolution of Sb2S3. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Metal Research)
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12 pages, 2292 KiB  
Article
Removal of Antimony in Wastewater by Antimony Tolerant Sulfate-Reducing Bacteria Isolated from Municipal Sludge
by He Li, Yue Fei, Shuwen Xue, Gege Zhang, Ziqi Bian, Fanfan Guo, Li Wang, Ruiqing Chai, Shuqi Zhang, Zhenyu Cui, Shiwei Wang and Jun Zhang
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(3), 1594; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23031594 - 29 Jan 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1974
Abstract
Antimony (Sb), a global and priority controlled pollutant, causes severe environmental issues. Bioremediation by microbial communities containing sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) is considered to be among the safest, economical, and environmentally friendly methods to remove Sb from wastewater. However, the roles of SRB species [...] Read more.
Antimony (Sb), a global and priority controlled pollutant, causes severe environmental issues. Bioremediation by microbial communities containing sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) is considered to be among the safest, economical, and environmentally friendly methods to remove Sb from wastewater. However, the roles of SRB species in these communities remain uncertain, and pure cultures of bacteria that may be highly efficient have not yet been developed for Sb removal. In this study, an Sb tolerant community was enriched from municipal sludge, and molecular ecological analysis showed that Escherichia (40%) and Desulfovibrio (15%) were the dominant bacteria. Further isolation and identification showed that the enriched SRB strains were closely related to Cupidesulfovibrio oxamicus, based on the molecular analyses of 16S rRNA and dsrB genes. Among them, a strain named SRB49 exhibited the highest activity in removal of Sb(V). SRB49 was able to remove 95% of Sb(V) at a concentration of 100 mg/L within 48 h under optimum conditions: a temperature of 37–40 °C, an initial pH value of 8, 4 mM of sulfate, and an initial redox potential of 145–229 mV. SEM-EDX analysis showed that SRB49 did not adsorb Sb(V) but reduced and precipitated Sb(V) via the formation of Sb2S3. The results demonstrated the potential roles that pure cultures of SRB species may play in Sb removal and the use of Sb-tolerant SRB strains for Sb remediation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Metal Research)
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Review

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18 pages, 4320 KiB  
Review
Extracellular Polymeric Substances and Biocorrosion/Biofouling: Recent Advances and Future Perspectives
by Yanan Wang, Ruiyong Zhang, Jizhou Duan, Xin Shi, Yimeng Zhang, Fang Guan, Wolfgang Sand and Baorong Hou
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(10), 5566; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23105566 - 16 May 2022
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 3609
Abstract
Microbial cells secrete extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) to adhere to material surfaces, if they get in contact with solid materials such as metals. After phase equilibrium, microorganisms can adhere firmly to the metal surfaces causing metal dissolution and corrosion. Attachment and adhesion of [...] Read more.
Microbial cells secrete extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) to adhere to material surfaces, if they get in contact with solid materials such as metals. After phase equilibrium, microorganisms can adhere firmly to the metal surfaces causing metal dissolution and corrosion. Attachment and adhesion of microorganisms via EPS increase the possibility and the rate of metal corrosion. Many components of EPS are electrochemical and redox active, making them closely related to metal corrosion. Functional groups in EPS have specific adsorption ability, causing them to play a key role in biocorrosion. This review emphasizes EPS properties related to metal corrosion and protection and the underlying microbially influenced corrosion (MIC) mechanisms. Future perspectives regarding a comprehensive study of MIC mechanisms and green methodologies for corrosion protection are provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Metal Research)
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