Cross-Comparison of Leaching Strains Isolated from Two Different Regions: Chambishi and Dexing Copper Mines

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Ngom, Baba ; Liang, Yili ; Liu, Xueduan (2014)
  • Publisher: Hindawi Publishing Corporation
  • Journal: BioMed Research International, volume 2,014 (issn: 2314-6133, eissn: 2314-6141)
  • Related identifiers: pmc: PMC4248400, doi: 10.1155/2014/787034
  • Subject: R | Research Article | Medicine | Article Subject

A cross-comparison of six strains isolated from two different regions, Chambishi copper mine (Zambia, Africa) and Dexing copper mine (China, Asia), was conducted to study the leaching efficiency of low grade copper ores. The strains belong to the three major species often encountered in bioleaching of copper sulfide ores under mesophilic conditions: Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans, Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans, and Leptospirillum ferriphilum. Prior to their study in bioleaching, the different strains were characterized and compared at physiological level. The results revealed that, except for copper tolerance, strains within species presented almost similar physiological traits with slight advantages of Chambishi strains. However, in terms of leaching efficiency, native strains always achieved higher cell density and greater iron and copper extraction rates than the foreign microorganisms. In addition, microbial community analysis revealed that the different mixed cultures shared almost the same profile, and At. ferrooxidans strains always outcompeted the other strains.
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