Development of a process for microbial sulfate reduction in cold mining waters - Cold acclimation of bacterial consortia from an Arctic mining district.

Affiliation

University of Oulu, Chemical Process Engineering, PO Box 4300, 90014, Oulu, Finland. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

Biological sulfate removal is challenging in cold climates due to the slower metabolism of mesophilic bacteria; however, cold conditions also offer the possibility to isolate bacteria that have adapted to low temperatures. The present research focused on the cold acclimation and characterization of sulfate-reducing bacterial (SRB) consortia enriched from an Arctic sediment sample from northern Finland. Based on 16S rDNA analysis, the most common sulfate-reducing bacterium in all enriched consortia was Desulfobulbus, which belongs to the δ-Proteobacteria. The majority of the cultivated consortia were able to reduce sulfate at temperatures as low as 6 °C with succinic acid as a carbon source. The sulfate reduction rates at 6 °C varied from 13 to 42 mg/L/d. The cultivation medium used in this research was a Postgate medium supplemented with lactate, ethanol or succinic acid. The obtained consortia were able to grow with lactate and succinic acid but surprisingly not with ethanol. Enriched SRB consortia are useful for the biological treatment of sulfate-containing industrial wastewaters in cold conditions.

Keywords

Cold acclimation,Desulfobulbus,Mixed culture,Postgate medium,Sulfate-reducing bacteria,

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