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Metal resistance in acidophilic microorganisms and its significance for biotechnologies.
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science. (Centre for Ecology and Evolution in Microbial Model Systems (EEMiS))ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9622-3318
Universidad Andres Bello, Santiago, Chile.
2014 (English)In: Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, ISSN 0175-7598, E-ISSN 1432-0614, Vol. 98, no 19, 8133-8144 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Extremely acidophilic microorganisms have an optimal pH of <3 and are found in all three domains of life. As metals are more soluble at acid pH, acidophiles are often challenged by very high metal concentrations. Acidophiles are metal-tolerant by both intrinsic, passive mechanisms as well as active systems. Passive mechanisms include an internal positive membrane potential that creates a chemiosmotic gradient against which metal cations must move, as well as the formation of metal sulfate complexes reducing the concentration of the free metal ion. Active systems include efflux proteins that pump metals out of the cytoplasm and conversion of the metal to a less toxic form. Acidophiles are exploited in a number of biotechnologies including biomining for sulfide mineral dissolution, biosulfidogenesis to produce sulfide that can selectively precipitate metals from process streams, treatment of acid mine drainage, and bioremediation of acidic metal-contaminated milieux. This review describes how acidophilic microorganisms tolerate extremely high metal concentrations in biotechnological processes and identifies areas of future work that hold promise for improving the efficiency of these applications.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 98, no 19, 8133-8144 p.
National Category
Microbiology
Research subject
Natural Science, Microbiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-37315DOI: 10.1007/s00253-014-5982-2ISI: 000342072500007PubMedID: 25104030OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-37315DiVA: diva2:750339
Available from: 2014-09-29 Created: 2014-09-29 Last updated: 2016-11-30Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
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