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Study of the impact of environmental bacteria on uranium speciation in order to engage bioremediation process

Abstract : Uranium is both a radiological and a chemical toxic. Its concentration in the environment is low except when human activities have caused pollution. Uranium is a heavy reactive element, and thus it is easily complexed with soil component like minerals or organic molecules. These different complexes can be more or less bioavailable for microorganisms and plants, and then get in the human food chain. The knowledge and the understanding of transfer mechanisms and also the fate of toxic elements in the biosphere are a key issue to estimate health and ecological hazards. The knowledge of the speciation is very important for bioremediation processes. Here, we focused on the microorganisms effects onto uranium speciation in environment. Bacteria can accumulate and/or transform uranium depending on the initial form of the element. Thus, its bioavailability could be changed. The species used in this work are Cupriavidus metallidurans CH34, which is an environmental bacteria with a high resistance to heavy metal, Deinococcus radiodurans R1, which is known for his radiological resistance, and Rhodopseudomonas palustris, which is a purple phototrophic bacteria capable of degrading aromatic compounds. Two forms of uranium were used with these bacteria, a mineral one, uranyl carbonate, and an organic one, uranyl citrate. In a first step, the growth media were modified in order to stabilize uranium complexes thanks to a simulation program. Then, the capacity of the bacteria to accumulate or transform uranium was studied. We saw a difference between minimal inhibition concentrations of these two speciation which is due to a difference between phosphate bioavailability. No accumulation was observed with environmental pH but uranium precipitation was observed with acidic pH (pH 1). Uranium speciation seemed to be well controlled in the growth media and the precipitates were uranyl phosphate.
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Contributor : Ecole Agroparistech <>
Submitted on : Thursday, March 19, 2009 - 8:00:00 AM
Last modification on : Friday, October 23, 2020 - 4:38:04 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Friday, September 10, 2010 - 1:24:37 PM


  • HAL Id : pastel-00004694, version 1



Guillaume Untereiner. Study of the impact of environmental bacteria on uranium speciation in order to engage bioremediation process. Life Sciences [q-bio]. AgroParisTech, 2008. English. ⟨pastel-00004694⟩



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