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Prikladnaia biokhimiia i mikrobiologiia

[Oxidation of sulfur-containing substrates by aboriginal and experimentally designed microbial communities].


PMID 23330391

Abstract

Aboriginal and experimental (constructed of pure microbial cultures) communities of acidophilic chemolithotrophs have been studied. The oxidation of elemental sulfur, sodium thiosulfate, and potassium tetrathionate as sole sources of energy has been monitored. The oxidation rate of the experimental community is higher as compared to the aboriginal community isolated from a flotation concentrate of pyrrhotine-containing pyrite-arsenopyrite gold-arsenic sulfide ore. The degree of oxidation of the mentioned S substrates amounts to 17.91, 68.30, and 93.94% for the experimental microbial community and to 10.71, 56.03, and 79.50% for the aboriginal community, respectively. The degree of oxidation of sulfur sulfide forms in the ore flotation concentrate is 59.15% by the aboriginal microbial community and 49.40% by the experimental microbial community. Despite a higher rate of oxidation of S substrates as a sole source of energy by the experimental microbial community, the aboriginal community oxidizes S substrates at a higher rate in the flotation concentrate of pyrrhotine-containing pyrite-arsenopyrite gold-arsenic sulfide ore, from which it was isolated. Bacterial-chemical oxidation of the flotation concentrate by the aboriginal microbial community allows for the extraction of an additional 32.3% of gold from sulfide minerals, which is by 5.7% larger compared to the yield obtained by the experimental microbial community.