Transactions of Nonferrous Metals Society of China The Chinese Journal of Nonferrous Metals

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Transactions of Nonferrous Metals Society of China

Vol. 24    No. 5    May 2014

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Differential utilization of cyclic, orthorhombic α- and chain-like polymeric μ-sulfur by Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans
An-an PENG1,2, Jin-lan XIA1,2, Hong-chang LIU1,2, Zhen-yuan NIE1,2, Yi YANG1,2, Wei ZHU1,2

1. School of Minerals Processing and Bioengineering, Central South University, Changsha 410083, China;
2. Key Laboratory of Biometallurgy of Ministry of Education, Central South University, Changsha 410083, China

Abstract:The differential utilization of cyclic, orthorhombic α-sulfur (α-S) and chain-like polymeric μ-sulfur (μ-S) by Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans was investigated. The growth and sulfur oxidation results indicated that utilization of μ-S by A. ferrooxidans was clearly different from α-S. Even if the planktonic cells were produced, the fall of pH and the rise of sulfate concentration were the same after 300 h on each substrate, the speeds of the planktonic cells increase, pH decrease and sulfate concentration increase in the earlier cultivation stage were faster on polymeric sulfur compared with the orthorhombic form. The adsorption capacity of the cells was higher on μ-S than on α-S. The results of SEM, DRIFTS and XRD analyses indicated that the surfaces of α-S and μ-S were modified differently by cells. Differential expression of 11 selected sulfur adsorption-activation and metabolism relevant genes was detected by RT-qPCR. The results showed that the expression of the hydrophobic substrate transport proteins and the sulfur metabolism related proteins was up-regulated, and the adsorption and activation related proteins were down-regulated when the cells were grown on μ-S, suggesting that μ-S could be more easily bio-adapted and activated than α-S.


Key words: sulfur oxidation; Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans; α-sulfur; μ-sulfur; RT-qPCR

ISSN 1004-0609
CN 43-1238/TG

ISSN 1003-6326
CN 43-1239/TG

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