Biosorption and Biomineralization of U(VI) by the Marine Bacterium Idiomarina loihiensis MAH1: Effect of Background Electrolyte and pH
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AuthorMorcillo de Amuedo, Fernando; González Muñoz, María Teresa; Reitz, Thomas; Romero González, María Esther; Arias Peñalver, José María; Merroun, Mohamed Larbi
Public Library of Science (PLOS)
Absorption spectroscopyBacteriaLuminescenceMarine bacteriaPhosphatesSea waterSpeciationUranium
Morcillo, F.; et al. Biosorption and Biomineralization of U(VI) by the Marine Bacterium Idiomarina loihiensis MAH1: Effect of Background Electrolyte and pH. Plos One, 9(3): e91305 (2012). [http://hdl.handle.net/10481/31122]
SponsorshipThis work was funded by the grants CGL2009-09760 and CGL2012-36505 (Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación), and RNM 3943 (Junta de Andalucía), Spain.
The main goal of this study is to compare the effects of pH, uranium concentration, and background electrolyte (seawater and NaClO4 solution) on the speciation of uranium(VI) associated with the marine bacterium Idiomarina loihiensis MAH1. This was done at the molecular level using a multidisciplinary approach combining X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy (XAS), Time-Resolved Laser-Induced Fluorescence Spectroscopy (TRLFS), and High Resolution Transmission Electron Microscopy (HRTEM). We showed that the U(VI)/bacterium interaction mechanism is highly dependent upon pH but also the nature of the used background electrolyte played a role. At neutral conditions and a U concentration ranging from 5·10−4 to 10−5 M (environmentally relevant concentrations), XAS analysis revealed that uranyl phosphate mineral phases, structurally resembling meta-autunite [Ca(UO2)2(PO4)2 2–6H2O] are precipitated at the cell surfaces of the strain MAH1. The formation of this mineral phase is independent of the background solution but U(VI) luminescence lifetime analyses demonstrated that the U(VI) speciation in seawater samples is more intricate, i.e., different complexes were formed under natural conditions. At acidic conditions, pH 2, 3 and 4.3 ([U] = 5·10−4 M, background electrolyte = 0.1 M NaClO4), the removal of U from solution was due to biosorption to Extracellular Polysaccharides (EPS) and cell wall components as evident from TEM analysis. The LIII-edge XAS and TRLFS studies showed that the biosorption process observed is dependent of pH. The bacterial cell forms a complex with U through organic phosphate groups at pH 2 and via phosphate and carboxyl groups at pH 3 and 4.3, respectively. The differences in the complexes formed between uranium and bacteria on seawater compared to NaClO4 solution demonstrates that the actinide/microbe interactions are influenced by the three studied factors, i.e., the pH, the uranium concentration and the chemical composition of the solution.