Author(s): Haferburg G, Kloess G, Schmitz W, Kothe E
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Abstract Biomineralization dependent on bacterial activity has been described for struvite which is formed in soils, guano, putrescent matter and sediments. A new biomineral containing nickel instead of magnesium, Ni(NH4)(PO4) . 6H2O, has been identified. It was formed by nickel resistant Streptomyces acidiscabies E13, and putatively named nickel struvite. The mineral formation is dependent on biological activity since non-viable bacterial cells are not capable to induce formation of Ni-struvite under identical conditions. Formation of Ni-struvite was observed on colony surfaces upon prolonged incubation of solid minimal or complex media containing elevated concentrations of 8-15mM NiCl2. The formation of magnesium containing crystals was not observed although Mg2+ is present in the medium. However, the process was not depending on desiccation since small crystals attached to the mycelial biomass of the bacteria were observed microscopically also in liquid cultures of nickel supplemented minimal and complex media after two weeks of incubation. The capacity to induce biomineralization of a nickel containing mineral is postulated to constitute a resistance factor, allowing the soil bacterium to withstand high nickel concentrations. The strain shows nickel resistance as an adaption to its habitat, since this bacterium was isolated from a former uranium mining site in Eastern Thuringia, Germany, where nickel concentrations of up to 2000ppm (translating to appr. 30mM) occur as a result of former mining activities.
This article was published in Chemosphere
and referenced in Journal of Microbial & Biochemical Technology