Geobiological cycling of gold: from fundamental process understanding to exploration solutions

Reith, Frank, Brugger, Joël, Zammit, Carla M., Nies, Dietrich H. and Southam, Gordon (2013) Geobiological cycling of gold: from fundamental process understanding to exploration solutions. Minerals, 3 4: 367-394. doi:10.3390/min3040367

Author Reith, Frank
Brugger, Joël
Zammit, Carla M.
Nies, Dietrich H.
Southam, Gordon
Title Geobiological cycling of gold: from fundamental process understanding to exploration solutions
Journal name Minerals   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 2075-163X
Publication date 2013-11-04
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.3390/min3040367
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 3
Issue 4
Start page 367
End page 394
Total pages 28
Place of publication Basel, Switzerland
Publisher M D P I
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Microbial communities mediating gold cycling occur on gold grains from (sub)-tropical, (semi)-arid, temperate and subarctic environments. The majority of identified species comprising these biofilms are β-Proteobacteria. Some bacteria, e.g., Cupriavidus metallidurans, Delftia acidovorans and Salmonella typhimurium, have developed biochemical responses to deal with highly toxic gold complexes. These include gold specific sensing and efflux, co-utilization of resistance mechanisms for other metals, and excretion of gold-complex-reducing siderophores that ultimately catalyze the biomineralization of nano-particulate, spheroidal and/or bacteriomorphic gold. In turn, the toxicity of gold complexes fosters the development of specialized biofilms on gold grains, and hence the cycling of gold in surface environments. This was not reported on isoferroplatinum grains under most near-surface environments, due to the lower toxicity of mobile platinum complexes. The discovery of gold-specific microbial responses can now drive the development of geobiological exploration tools, e.g., gold bioindicators and biosensors. Bioindicators employ genetic markers from soils and groundwaters to provide information about gold mineralization processes, while biosensors will allow in-field analyses of gold concentrations in complex sampling media.
Keyword Gold
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Earth Sciences Papers
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Created: Sat, 14 Dec 2013, 00:37:16 EST by Ashleigh Paroz on behalf of School of Earth Sciences