Calcium carbonate mineralization: involvement of extracellular polymeric materials isolated from calcifying bacteria.
ABSTRACT This study highlights the role of specific outer bacterial structures, such as the glycocalix, in calcium carbonate crystallization in vitro. We describe the formation of calcite crystals by extracellular polymeric materials, such as exopolysaccharides (EPS) and capsular polysaccharides (CPS) isolated from Bacillus firmus and Nocardia calcarea. Organic matrices were isolated from calcifying bacteria grown on synthetic medium--in the presence or absence of calcium ions--and their effect on calcite precipitation was assessed. Scanning electron microscopy observations and energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry analysis showed that CPS and EPS fractions were involved in calcium carbonate precipitation, not only serving as nucleation sites but also through a direct role in crystal formation. The utilization of different synthetic media, with and without addition of calcium ions, influenced the biofilm production and protein profile of extracellular polymeric materials. Proteins of CPS fractions with a molecular mass between 25 and 70 kDa were overexpressed when calcium ions were present in the medium. This higher level of protein synthesis could be related to the active process of bioprecipitation.
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ABSTRACT: Carbonic anhydrase is an enzyme that reversibly catalyzes the hydration of carbon dioxide (CO2). It has been suggested recently that this remarkably fast enzyme can be used for sequestration of CO2, a major greenhouse gas, making this a promising alternative for chemical CO2 mitigation. To promote the economical use of enzymes, we engineered the carbonic anhydrase from Neisseria gonorrhoeae (ngCA) in the periplasm of Escherichia coli, thereby creating a bacterial whole-cell catalyst. We then investigated the application of this system to CO2 sequestration by mineral carbonation, a process with the potential to store large quantities of CO2. ngCA was highly expressed in the periplasm of E. coli in a soluble form, and the recombinant bacterial cell displayed the distinct ability to hydrate CO2 when compared with its cytoplasmic-ngCA counterpart and previously reported whole-cell CA systems. The expression of ngCA in the periplasm of E. coli greatly accelerated the rate of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) formation and exerted a striking impact on the maximal amount of CaCO3 produced under conditions of relatively low pH. It was also shown that the thermal stability of the periplasmic enzyme was significantly improved. These results demonstrate that the engineered bacterial cell with periplasmic ngCA can successfully serve as an efficient biocatalyst for CO2 sequestration.Applied and environmental microbiology 08/2013; · 3.69 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Two bacterial strains, Pseudomonas aeruginosa MJK1 and Escherichia coli MJK2, were constructed that both express green fluorescent protein (GFP) and carry out ureolysis. These two novel model organisms are useful for studying bacterial carbonate mineral precipitation processes and specifically ureolysis-driven microbially induced calcium carbonate precipitation (MICP). The strains were constructed by adding plasmid-borne urease genes (ureABC, ureD and ureFG) to the strains Pseudomonas aeruginosa AH298 and Escherichia coli AF504gfp, both of which already carried unstable GFP derivatives. The ureolytic activities of the two new strains were compared to the common, non-GFP expressing, model organism Sporosarcina pasteurii in planktonic culture under standard laboratory growth conditions. It was found that the engineered strains exhibited a lower ureolysis rate per cell but were able to grow faster and to a higher population density under the conditions of this study. Both engineered strains were successfully grown as biofilms in capillary flow cell reactors and ureolysis-induced calcium carbonate mineral precipitation was observed microscopically. The undisturbed spatiotemporal distribution of biomass and calcium carbonate minerals were successfully resolved in 3D using confocal laser scanning microscopy. Observations of this nature were not possible previously because no obligate urease producer that expresses GFP had been available. Future observations using these organisms will allow researchers to further improve engineered application of MICP as well as study natural mineralization processes in model systems.Journal of microbiological methods 07/2013; · 2.43 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Heterotrophic CaCO3-precipitating bacteria were isolated from biofilms on deteriorated ignimbrites, siliceous acidic rocks, from Morelia Cathedral (Mexico) and identified as Enterobacter cancerogenus (22e), Bacillus sp. (32a) and Bacillus subtilis (52g). In solid medium, 22e and 32a precipitated calcite and vaterite while 52g produced calcite. Urease activity was detected in these isolates and CaCO3 precipitation increased in the presence of urea in the liquid medium. In the presence of calcium, EPS production decreased in 22e and 32a and increased in 52g. Under laboratory conditions, ignimbrite colonization by these isolates only occurred in the presence of calcium and no CaCO3 was precipitated. Calcium may therefore be important for biofilm formation on stones. The importance of the type of stone, here a siliceous stone, on biological colonization is emphasized. This calcium effect has not been reported on calcareous materials. The importance of the effect of calcium on EPS production and biofilm formation is discussed in relation to other applications of CaCO3 precipitation by bacteria.Biofouling 04/2014; · 3.40 Impact Factor