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An Experimental Investigation of the Effect of Bacillus megaterium on Apatite Dissolution

Domenii publicaţii > Biologie + Tipuri publicaţii > Articol în revistã ştiinţificã

Autori: Elena Hutchens, Eugenia Valsami-Jones, Najatte Harouiya, Claire Chaïrat, Eric H. Oelkers , Sharron McEldowney

Editorial: Taylor & Francis, Geomicrobiology Journal, 23(3-4), p.177 - 182, 2006.


Field observations suggest that some mineral dissolution rates can be enhanced by microbial activity indirectly, without direct contact with the mineral surface. A series of apatite dissolution experiments was performed to better understand this rate enhancement process. Far-from equilibrium abiotic apatite dissolution rates, measured in mixed-flow reactors at 25°C were enhanced by increasing concentration of aqueous organic acids and decreasing aqueous phosphate activity, demonstrating the existence of indirect pathways for microbial rate enhancement. Further apatite dissolution experiments were performed in closed-system reactors in the presence of Bacillus megaterium, a common heterotrophic aerobe. Experiments were designed to allow the bacteria to be either in direct contact or indirect contact with the apatite; in the latter case, the microbes were physically separated from the apatite using dialysis bags. Apatite dissolution in indirect contact with Bacillus megaterium was 50 to 900% faster than abiotic controls. Bacterial rate enhancement was, however, 3 to over 10 times lower when Bacillus megaterium was in direct contract versus indirect contact with the apatite surfaces. These results show that (1) bacteria can accelerate rates without being in physical contact with the dissolving mineral, and (2) microbially mediated dissolution may be less effective when bacteria are in direct contact with mineral surfaces. Supression of mineral dissolution is interpreted to stem from the preferential colonization of reactive sites on the mineral surface.

Cuvinte cheie: apatite, Bacillus megaterium, bacterial rate enhancement, dissolution kinetics