X-ray photoelectron evidence for bacteria-enhanced dissolution of hornblende

B. E. Kalinowski, L. J. Liermann, S. L. Brantley, A. Barnes, C. G. Pantano

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An Arthrobacter species capable of extracting Fe from hornblende was isolated from a soil from the Adirondacks, NY (USA). This bacteria isolate, used in batch experiments with hornblende, accelerated the release of Fe from hornblende without measurably affecting Al release. The isolate produces both low molecular weight organic acids (LMWOA) and a catecholate siderophore. Polished hornblende (glass and crystal) discs were analyzed with X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) before and after incubation with growing Arthrobacter sp. to investigate whether the bacteria caused a distinguishable chemical signature on the upper 100 Å of mineral surface. After removal of the arthrobacter grown on hornblende crystal or glass substrates using lysozyme, XPS revealed surface depletion of Fe for samples grown for several days in buffered (crystal) and unbuffered (crystal and glass) media. Fe/Si ratios of hornblende surfaces dissolved under biotic conditions are significantly lower than Fe/Si ratios on surfaces dissolved under abiotic conditions for similar amounts of time. Enhanced Fe release and the formation of Fe-depleted surfaces is inferred to be caused by catechol complexation at the mineral surface. Because natural siderophore was not isolated in sufficient quantities to run bacteria-free leaching experiments, parallel investigations were run with a commercially available siderophore (desferrioxamine B). Desferrioxamine B was observed to enhance release of Fe, Si, and Al from hornblende both with and without added bacteria. Formation of desferrioxamine-Fe surface complexes were probed by studying the multiple splitting and shift in intensities of the N 1s line analyzed by XPS on siderophore ± Fe on gold surfaces and siderophore + hornblende crystal surfaces. Based upon the observed formation of an hydroxamate (desferrioxamine) surface complex on hornblende, we infer that catecholate siderophores, such as those produced by the arthrobacter, also complex on the hornblende surface. Surface complexation is favored because of the extremely high association constants for siderophore + Fe(III). X-ray photoelectron spectroscopic data is therefore consistent with a model wherein enhanced Fe release by these bacteria or desferrioxamine B is caused by Fe-siderophore complexation at the silicate surface. Such complexation presumably weakens bonds between the Fe and the oxide lattice, causing enhanced Fe leaching and an Fe-depleted surface. Some leaching may also be due to LMWOA, although this is interpreted to be of secondary importance. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1331-1343
Number of pages13
JournalGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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