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Biomining, the use of micro-organisms to recover precious and base metals from mineral ores and concentrates, has developed into a successful and expanding area of biotechnology. While careful considerations are made in the design and engineering of biomining operations, microbiological aspects have been subjected to far less scrutiny and control. Biomining(More)
The use of acidiphilic, chemolithotrophic iron- and sulfur-oxidizing microbes in processes to recover metals from certain types of copper, uranium, and gold-bearing minerals or mineral concentrates is now well established. During these processes insoluble metal sulfides are oxidized to soluble metal sulfates. Mineral decomposition is believed to be mostly(More)
Plasmids of IncQ-family are distinguished by having a unique strand-displacement mechanism of replication that is capable of functioning in a wide variety of bacterial hosts. In addition, these plasmids are highly mobilizable and therefore very promiscuous. Common features of the replicons have been used to identify IncQ-family plasmids in DNA sequence(More)
Microorganisms are used in large-scale heap or tank aeration processes for the commercial extraction of a variety of metals from their ores or concentrates. These include copper, cobalt, gold and, in the past, uranium. The metal solubilization processes are considered to be largely chemical with the microorganisms providing the chemicals and the space(More)
The most important features of plasmid pTF5, a 19,793-bp plasmid that was isolated from Thiobacillus ferrooxidans ATCC33020, are presented. The plasmid contained at least 14 complete open reading frames (ORFs), most of which had clear amino acid sequence similarity to previously identified proteins. The majority of ORFs were related to proteins commonly(More)
A Gram-positive, aerobic, endospore-forming bacterium was isolated by an enrichment technique for the ability to degrade cyanide and was identified as a Bacillus pumilus strain. The bacterium rapidly degraded 100 mg l-1 of free cyanide in the absence of added inorganic and organic substances. The ability to degrade cyanide was linked to the growth phase and(More)
The nucleotide sequence of a 5,317-bp fragment which includes the region required for mobilization of broad-host-range plasmid pTF-FC2 was determined. A region of approximately 3.5 kb was required for plasmid mobilization, and oriT was localized on a 138-bp fragment. Polypeptides which corresponded in size and location to several of the open reading frames(More)
Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans has an arsenic resistance operon that is controlled by an As(III)-responsive transcriptional repressor, AfArsR, a member of the ArsR/SmtB family of metalloregulators. AfArsR lacks the As(III) binding site of the ArsRs from plasmid R773 and Escherichia coli, which have a Cys(32)-Val-Cys(34)-Asp-Leu-Cys(37) sequence in the DNA(More)
A cyanide-degrading enzyme from Bacillus pumilus C1 has been purified and characterized. This enzyme consisted of three polypeptides of 45.6, 44.6, and 41.2 kDa; the molecular mass by gel filtration was 417 kDa. Electron microscopy revealed a multimeric, rod-shaped protein approximately 9 by 50 nm. Cyanide was rapidly degraded to formate and ammonia. Enzyme(More)
A moderately thermophilic (45 to 50 degrees C), highly acidophilic (pH 1.5 to 2.5), chemolithotrophic Acidithiobacillus caldus strain, f, was isolated from a biooxidation process used to treat nickel ore. Trans-alternating field electrophoresis analysis of total DNA from the A. caldus cells revealed two plasmids of approximately 14 and 45 kb. The 14-kb(More)