Characterization of Extracellular Polymeric Substances Produced by an <i>Acidianus</i> Species and Their Relevance to Bioleaching

Castro, Camila; Donati, Edgardo; VERA-VELIZ, MARIO ANDRES


Extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) produced by microorganisms play a crucial role in various bioprocesses, including bioleaching. The microbial leaching of metal sulfides requires an initial cell attachment, which is facilitated by EPS. These substances are mixtures of polysaccharides, proteins, lipids, and other compounds, and their composition and properties can vary depending on the species, growth conditions, and environmental factors. Despite the significance of iron/sulfur oxidizing species in biomining processes, the knowledge of the interfacial processes between thermoacidophilic archaeal species and mineral surfaces is limited. This study examines the cell surface characteristics and EPS produced by an Acidianus strain. The research was conducted using microscopic techniques, Zeta-potential measurements, spectrophotometric methods, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and fluorescence lectin-binding analysis. The results suggest that non-soluble substrates, such as sulfur or pyrite, induce changes in cell surface structures, including the presence of cell appendages, wider cell envelopes, higher hydrophobicities, and increased EPS production, compared to cells grown with soluble substrates such as tetrathionate or ferrous iron. The EPS mainly consist of proteins and carbohydrates, including glucose, manose, N-acetylgalactosamine, and N-acetylglucosamine residues. This study contributes to a better understanding of the relationship between thermophilic archaea and mineral surfaces in biomining processes.

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Título según WOS: ID WOS:000958684600001 Not found in local WOS DB
Título según SCOPUS: ID SCOPUS_ID:85151754186 Not found in local SCOPUS DB
Título de la Revista: MINERALS
Volumen: 13
Editorial: MDPI
Fecha de publicación: 2023