Uranium biomineralization by a metal resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain isolated from contaminated mine waste.
J Hazard Mater. 2011 Feb 15;186(1):336-43. Epub 2010 Nov 9. PMID: 21112694
Department of Biotechnology, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India.
Uranium biomineralization by a metal-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain isolated from uranium mine waste was characterized for its potential in bioremediation. Uranium resistance, its cellular localization and chemical nature of uranium-bacteria interaction were elucidated. Survival and uranium biomineralization from mine water were investigated using microcosm experiments. The selected bacterium showed U resistance and accumulation (maximum of 275 mg U g(-1)cell dry wt.) following incubation in 100 mg U L(-1), pH 4.0, for 6 h. Transmission electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction analyses revealed that bioaccumulated uranium was deposited within the cell envelope as needle shaped U-phosphate compounds that attain crystallinity only at pH 4.0. A synergistic involvement of deprotonated phosphate and carboxyl moieties in facilitating bioprecipitation of uranium was evident from FTIR analysis. Based on these findings we attribute the localized U sequestration by this bacterium as innocuous complex to its possible mechanism of uranium resistance. Microcosm data confirmed that the strain can remove soluble uranium (99%) and sequester it as U oxide and phosphate minerals while maintaining its viability. The study showed that indigenous bacteria from contaminated site that can survive uranium and other heavy metal toxicity and sequester soluble uranium as biominerals could play important role in uranium bioremediation.