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Isolation, characterization, and U(VI)-immobilizing potential of bacterial strains from uranium contaminated environments
Merroun, M.; Rossberg, A.; Hennig, C.; Selenska-Pobell, S.;
Uranium is a long-living radionuclide that represents ecological and human health hazards. The mining and processing of uranium during the last decades for nuclear fuel and nuclear weapon production resulted in generation of significant amounts of radioactive waste. It is critical that the uranium in these wastes has to be effectively immobilized and removed away in order to prevent ground water contamination. Microbial biosorption of U(VI) was proposed as one of the methods for uranium immobilization. In this paper, we describe the isolation of bacterial strains from water and soil samples collected from different uranium contaminated environments. Phylogenetic analysis of these strains revealed that they are related to Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, Bacillus sphaericus, Microbacterium oxydans, Pseudomonas rhodesiae etc. As estimated by using ICP-MS these natural isolates possess a high ability to accumulate uranium and other heavy metals such as Cd, Pb, Ni and Ag. The bacterial uranium tolerance was studied using flow cytometry techniques. X-ray absorption near-edge structure analysis showed that the cells of these strains precipitate U(VI) as autunite-like phase (inorganic uranyl phosphate phase) at pH 4.5, probably due to the release of the inorganic phosphate from the cells. However, at pH 2 the uranium bonding was consistent with the formation of complexes with organic bound phosphate of the cell surface. These results are in agreement with those found by infrared measurements.Transmission electron microscope and energy dispersive X-ray analysis showed strain-specific extracellular and/or intracellular uranium accumulation to varying degrees.
  • Contribution to proceedings
    Biometals 2004, 03.-05.09.2004, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany

Publ.-Id: 8023 - Permalink