Arguably, the most important role played by microorganisms in the solubilization of metals in bioleaching operations is their ability to oxidize ironand sulfur-containing minerals. Most progress has been made in understanding these fundamental processes in the mesophilic bacterium Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans because its role in bioleaching was recognized earliest and, therefore, it has had the longest history of investigation. In addition, the complete genome sequence of At. errooxidans was recently released by The Institute for Genome Research (TIGR), which has allowed the bioinformatic prediction of several important biochemical pathways and has provided insight into the biochemistry and physiology of iron and sulfur oxidation. This chapter will describe some of the recent progress in understanding iron and sulfur oxidation reactions in this microorganism using molecular genetics and bioinformatics tools.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)