Uptake of trace metals and rare earth elements from hornblende by a soil bacterium

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


Analysis of trace elements released from hornblende between pH 6.5 and 7.5 in the presence of Arthrobacter sp, shows that Fe, Ni, V, Mn, and to a lesser extent, Co are preferentially released into solution relative to bacteria-free experiments. This enhanced release into solution could be due to contribution from the slightly lowered pH, the presence of low molecular weight organic acids (LMWOAs), or the presence of a catecholate siderophore in experiments with bacteria. The best explanation for enhanced metal release is siderophore complexation at the mineral surface followed by release to solution. However, the relative rates of metal release to solution in these experiments do not strictly follow the trend predicted by the relative ordering of metal hydrolysis, which might be predicted for siderophore-promoted dissolution. For some of these metals, release to solution. is fast initially in biotic experiments, but concentrations in solution reach a steady state value or decrease with time as the bacteria cell numbers increase exponentially. Lack of enhanced release to solution for some metals and decrease in release rate with time for others may be explained by uptake into bacteria. Many of the metals predicted to strongly complex with siderophore (including Al, Ti, Fe, Cu) are heavily taken up into cellular material. The relative ordering of organic ligand-element complexation may therefore partially explain the relative ordering of uptake of trace metals and rare earth elements into cell material. Fractionation of heavy rare earth elements taken up into cellular material is also very strong, and increases from Ho to Lu. Strong fractionation in uptake of some elements by bacteria may create biological signatures either in the mineral substrate or in any mineral precipitates associated with the cellular material.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-61
Number of pages25
JournalGeomicrobiology Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Environmental Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Uptake of trace metals and rare earth elements from hornblende by a soil bacterium'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this