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FEMS Microbiol Ecol. 2007 Mar;59(3):694-705.

Microbacterium isolates from the vicinity of a radioactive waste depository and their interactions with uranium.

Author information

1
Institute of Radiochemistry, Forschungszentrum Rossendorf, Dresden, Germany.

Abstract

Three oligotrophic bacterial strains were cultured from the ground water of the deep-well monitoring site S15 of the Siberian radioactive waste depository Tomsk-7, Russia. They were affiliated with Actinobacteria from the genus Microbacterium. The almost fully sequenced 16S rRNA genes of two of the isolates, S15-M2 and S15-M5, were identical to those of cultured representatives of the species Microbacterium oxydans. The third isolate, S15-M4, shared 99.8% of 16S rRNA gene identity with them. The latter isolate possessed a distinct cell morphology as well as carbon source utilization pattern from the M. oxydans strains S15-M2 and S15-M5. The three isolates tolerated equal amounts of uranium, lead, copper, silver and chromium but they differed in their tolerance of cadmium and nickel. The cells of all three strains accumulated high amounts of uranium, i.e. up to 240 mg U (g dry biomass)(-1) in the case of M. oxydans S15-M2. X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) analysis showed that this strain precipitated U(VI) at pH 4.5 as a meta-autunite-like phase. At pH 2, the uranium formed complexes with organically bound phosphate groups on the cell surface. The results of the XAS studies were consistent with those obtained by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX).

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