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Enhanced Dissolution of Silicate Minerals by Bacteria at Near-Neutral pH

P. Vandevivere, S. A. Welch, W. J. Ullman and D. L. Kirchman
Microbial Ecology
Vol. 27, No. 3 (May - Jun., 1994), pp. 241-251
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4251350
Page Count: 11
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Enhanced Dissolution of Silicate Minerals by Bacteria at Near-Neutral pH
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Abstract

Previous studies have shown that various microorganisms can enhance the dissolution of silicate minerals at low (<5) or high (>8) pH. However, it was not known if they can have an effect at near-neutral pH. Almost half of 17 isolates examined in this study stimulated bytownite dissolution at near-neutral pH while in a resting state in buffered glucose. Most of the isolates found to stimulate dissolution also oxidized glucose to gluconic acid. More detailed analysis with one of these isolates suggested that this partial oxidation was the predominant, if not sole, mechanism of enhanced dissolution. Enhanced dissolution did not require direct contact between the dissolving mineral and the bacteria. Gluconate-promoted dissolution was also observed with other silicate minerals such as albite, quartz, and kaolinite.

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