Clostridia initiate heavy metal bioremoval in mixed sulfidogenic cultures. | - CCMAR -

Journal Article

TitleClostridia initiate heavy metal bioremoval in mixed sulfidogenic cultures.
Publication TypeJournal Article
AuthorsAlexandrino, M, Costa, R, Canario, AVM, Costa, MC
Year of Publication2014
JournalEnviron Sci Technol
Date Published2014 Mar 18
KeywordsBiodegradation, Environmental, Clostridium, Desulfovibrio, Metals, Heavy, Microbial Consortia, Oxidation-Reduction, Sulfates

Sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) are widely used for attenuating heavy metal pollution by means of sulfide generation. Due to their low metal tolerance, several SRB species depend on associated bacteria in mixed cultures to cope with metal-induced stress. Yet the identity of the SRB protecting bacteria is largely unknown. We aimed to identify these associated bacteria and their potential role in two highly metal-resistant mixed SRB cultures by comparing bacterial community composition and SRB activity between these cultures and two sensitive ones. The SRB composition in the resistant and sensitive consortia was similar. However, whereas the SRB in the sensitive cultures were strongly inhibited by a mixture of copper, zinc, and iron, no influence of these metals was detected on SRB growth and activity in the resistant cultures. In the latter, a Gram-positive population mostly assigned to Clostridium spp. initiated heavy metal bioremoval based on sulfide generation from components of the medium (mainly sulfite) but not from sulfate. After metal levels were lowered by the Clostridium spp. populations, SRB started sulfate reduction and raised the pH of the medium. The combination of sulfite reducing Clostridium spp. with SRB may improve green technologies for removal of heavy metals.


Alternate JournalEnviron. Sci. Technol.
PubMed ID24568215
CCMAR Authors