, Volume 62, Issue 3, pp 894-902

Characterization of Urease and Carbonic Anhydrase Producing Bacteria and Their Role in Calcite Precipitation

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Abstract

Urease and carbonic anhydrase (CA) are key enzymes in the chemical reaction of living organisms and have been found to be associated with calcification in a number of microorganisms and invertebrates. Three bacterial strains designated as AP4, AP6, and AP9 were isolated from highly alkaline soil samples using the enrichment culture technique. On the basis of various physiological tests and 16S rRNA sequence analysis, these three bacteria were identified as Bacillus sp., B. megaterium, and B. simplex. Further, these Bacillus species have been characterized for the production of urease and CA in the process of biocalcification. One of the isolates, AP6 produced 553 U/ml of urease and 5.61 EU/ml CA. All the strains were able to produce significant amount of exopolymeric substances and biofilm. Further, efficacy of these strains was tested for calcite production ability and results were correlated with urease and CA. Isolate AP6 precipitated 2.26 mg calcite/cell dry mass (mg). Our observations strongly suggest that it is not only urease but CA also plays an important role in microbially induced calcium carbonate precipitation process. The current work demonstrates that urease and CA producing microbes can be utilized in biocalcification as a sealing agent for filling the gaps or cracks and fissures in constructed facilities and natural formations alike.