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Studies on the growth of Thiobacillus ferrooxidans

IV. Influence of monovalent metal cations on ferrous iron oxidation and uranium toxicity in growing cultures

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1. Oxidation of ferrous iron by Thiobacillus ferrooxidans proceeded at the same rates in media grossly deficient in potassium as in media with 4.56 mM K+ added. 2. Iron oxidation in “potassium-free” medium was markedly inhibited by the addition of 10-5 M K+ or Na+ (as sulphates), compared with normal or accelerated oxidation at lower or higher concentrations. 3. Chlorides of sodium or potassium were inhibitory under conditions where the sulphates were not; the concentrations of chlorides required to inhibit development depended on the total potassium content of the medium. 4. Thallium and rubidium were growth inhibitory at 10-4 M in the “potassium-free” medium, but were not toxic at 10-3 M in the normal medium. 5. Inhibition of growth by 2 mM uranyl sulphate was partially relieved by 200 mM K+, Na+, Li+ or NH4 + added to the normal medium as sulphates. 6. Increased H2SO4 concentration increased uranium toxicity without affecting the normal growth rates. 7. The results are discussed in relation to the possible presence in T. ferrooxidans of two K+-transport systems of different reaction to external K+-concentration, and the possible effects of uranium on membrane-dependent processes.

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Tuovinen, O.H., Kelly, D.P. Studies on the growth of Thiobacillus ferrooxidans . Arch. Microbiol. 98, 167–174 (1974). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00425279

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Key words

  • Thiobacillus ferrooxidans
  • Iron Oxidation
  • Potassium
  • Monovalent Cations
  • Uranium Toxicity