Biomineralization of gold in biofilms of Cupriavidus metallidurans

Fairbrother, L., Etschmann, B., Brugger, J., Shapter, J., Southam, G. and Reith, F. (2013) Biomineralization of gold in biofilms of Cupriavidus metallidurans. Environmental Science & Technology, 47 6: 2628-2635. doi:10.1021/es302381d

Author Fairbrother, L.
Etschmann, B.
Brugger, J.
Shapter, J.
Southam, G.
Reith, F.
Title Biomineralization of gold in biofilms of Cupriavidus metallidurans
Formatted title
Biomineralization of gold in biofilms of Cupriavidus metallidurans
Journal name Environmental Science & Technology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0013-936X
Publication date 2013-03-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1021/es302381d
Open Access Status
Volume 47
Issue 6
Start page 2628
End page 2635
Total pages 8
Place of publication Washington, DC, United States
Publisher American Chemical Society
Language eng
Abstract Cupriavidus metallidurans, a bacterium capable of reductively precipitating toxic, aqueous gold(I/III)-complexes, dominates biofilm communities on gold (Au) grains from Australia. To examine the importance of C. metallidurans biofilms in secondary Au formation, we assessed the biomineralization potential of biofilms growing in quartz-sand-packed columns to periodic amendment with Au(I)-thiosulfate. In these experiments, >99 wt % of Au, was retained compared to <30 wt % in sterilized and abiotic controls. Biomineralization of Au occurred in the presence of viable biofilms via the formation of intra- and extra-cellular spherical nanoparticles, which aggregated into spheroidal and framboidal microparticles of up to 2 μm in diameter. Aggregates of Au formed around cells, eventually encapsulating and ultimately replacing them. These particles were morphologically analogous to Au-particles commonly observed on natural Au grains. Bacterial cells were connected via exopolymer or nanowires to μm-sized, extracellular Au-aggregates, which would intuitively improve the flow of electrons through the biofilm. This study demonstrates the importance of C. metallidurans biofilms for the detoxification of Au-complexes and demonstrates a central role for bacterial biomineralization in the formation of highly pure Au in surface environments.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Earth Sciences Publications
Official 2014 Collection
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