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pH Down, Adaptability Up: The Versatile Physiology of Acidophilic Sulfate-Reducing Bacteria

  • 23 April, 2024
  • 16:00
  • Wageningen University, Microbiology
  • prof.dr. D.Z. Machado De Sousa
  • dr. I. Sanchez Andreadr. C.U. Welte

Acid mine drainages (AMD) are streams characterized by their low pH, and high concentrations of sulfate and heavy metals. These characteristics make AMD highly toxic, and if improperly handled AMD can have a detrimental environmental impact on water quality and biodiversity. Acidophilic sulfate-reducing bacteria (aSRB), can attenuate AMD through reducing sulfate to sulfide (biosulfidogenesis). To date, only a few aSRB are known and many questions remain on their stress physiology, metabolic versatility and ecology. Hence, aSRB hold much scientific potential for further exploration. With Acididesulfobacillus acetoxydans as model organism we explored: the response to acetic acid stress, the response to proton stress, and identified a novel mechanism for dissimilatory reduction of nitrate to ammonium. Findings contribute to understanding aSRB microbial physiology and contribute to understanding their ecological role and potential for biosulfidogenic biotechnology. Overall, this thesis explored the fascinating and versatile physiology of aSRB.


Reinier Egas

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