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Title: Uranium Biomineralization By Natural Microbial Phosphatase Activities in the Subsurface

This project investigated the geochemical and microbial processes associated with the biomineralization of radionuclides in subsurface soils. During this study, it was determined that microbial communities from the Oak Ridge Field Research subsurface are able to express phosphatase activities that hydrolyze exogenous organophosphate compounds and result in the non-reductive bioimmobilization of U(VI) phosphate minerals in both aerobic and anaerobic conditions. The changes of the microbial community structure associated with the biomineralization of U(VI) was determined to identify the main organisms involved in the biomineralization process, and the complete genome of two isolates was sequenced. In addition, it was determined that both phytate, the main source of natural organophosphate compounds in natural environments, and polyphosphate accumulated in cells could also be hydrolyzed by native microbial population to liberate enough orthophosphate and precipitate uranium phosphate minerals. Finally, the minerals produced during this process are stable in low pH conditions or environments where the production of dissolved inorganic carbon is moderate. These findings suggest that the biomineralization of U(VI) phosphate minerals is an attractive bioremediation strategy to uranium bioreduction in low pH uranium-contaminated environments. These efforts support the goals of the SBR long-term performance measure by providing key information on "biological processes influencingmore » the form and mobility of DOE contaminants in the subsurface".« less
Authors:
 [1]
  1. Georgia Tech Research Corporation, Atlanta, GA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1177451
Report Number(s):
DOE-GT--2530
DOE Contract Number:
SC0002530
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Georgia Tech Research Corporation, Atlanta, GA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
Contributing Orgs:
University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL (United States)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 58 GEOSCIENCES; 59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES