Assessment of Microbial Adhesion in Mixed Cultures to Sulfide Minerals Using CARD-FISH Techniques
The adhesion of microorganisms to minerals is one of the least understood aspects of bioleaching processes. Mineral and microorganism type are determinant factors affecting the capacity of a microbial community to form biofilms in these processes. In this paper the adhesion capacity of different microorganisms to different copper sulfide minerals generally present in bioleaching processes was studied. The minerals, chalcosite, chalcopyrite and pyrite were used and the composition of the microbial population which adhered to the mineral surfaces was determined using the Catalyzed Reporter Deposition Fluorescent In Situ Hybridization (CARD-FISH) technique. This technique involves the fluorescent marking of the cells using specific DNA probes and their observation with a confocal microscope. Three probes were used against the microorganisms: Acidithiobacillus ferooxidans, Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans and Leptospirillum. Polished fragments of the three minerals were placed in a tube with a culture medium which was inoculated with cells from a mixed culture capable of growing at 25°C. The adhered microorganisms were counted with CARD-FISH and compared with the total count which was carried out with DAPI staining. The results show that microorganisms adhered indistinctly to pyrite and chalcopyrite but not chalcosite. It was also observed that in pyrite 60% of the adhered microorganisms were Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans, 35% Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans, and 1 % Leptospirillum. The remaining 4% were unidentified microorganisms.
Edgardo R. Donati, Marisa R. Viera, Eduardo L. Tavani, María A. Giaveno, Teresa L. Lavalle, Patricia A. Chiacchiarini
A. Echeverría and C. Demergasso, "Assessment of Microbial Adhesion in Mixed Cultures to Sulfide Minerals Using CARD-FISH Techniques", Advanced Materials Research, Vols. 71-73, pp. 83-86, 2009