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This investigation reports on the growth of this bacterial species on the …


Biology Articles » Geobiology » The effect of adsorbed lipid on pyrite oxidation under biotic conditions

Abstract
- The effect of adsorbed lipid on pyrite oxidation under biotic conditions

The effect of adsorbed lipid on pyrite oxidation under biotic conditions

Jun Hao1, Curtis Cleveland1, Eelin Lim2, Daniel R Strongin1,3 and Martin AA Schoonen3

1Department of Chemistry, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 19122, USA

2Department of Biology, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 19122, USA

3Center for Environmental Molecular Science, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794-2100, USA


Geochemical Transactions 2006, 7:8doi:10.1186/1467-4866-7-8. [Open Access]

Abstract

The chemolithoautotrophic bacterium, Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans, commonly occurs in acid mine drainage (AMD) environments where it is responsible for catalyzing the oxidation of pyrite and concomitant development of acidic conditions. This investigation reports on the growth of this bacterial species on the pyrite surface and in the aqueous phase at a pH close to 2 as well as the role of adsorbed lipid in preventing pyrite dissolution. Both acid washed pyrite and acid-washed pyrite coated with lipids were used as substrates in the studies. The choice of lipid, 1,2-bis(10,12-tricosadiynoyl)-sn-Glycero-3-Phosphocholine lipid (23:2 Diyne PC), a phosphocholine lipid, was based on earlier work that showed that this lipid inhibits the abiotic oxidation rate of pyrite. Atomic force microscopy showed that under the experimental conditions used in this study, the lipid formed ~4–20 nm layers on the mineral surface. Surface-bound lipid greatly suppresses the oxidation process catalyzed by A. ferrooxidans. This suppression continued for the duration of the experiments (25 days maximum). Analysis of the bacterial population on the pyrite surface and in solution over the course of the experiments suggested that the pyrite oxidation was dependent in large part on the fraction of bacteria bound to the pyrite surface.


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