THIOBACILLUS FERROOXIDANS FOR ENHANCED METAL LEACHING CAPABILITIES.

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 2659
Amount: $36,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 1985
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
9115 Guilford Rd, Columbia, MD, 21046
DUNS: N/A
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 JOHN C COX PHD
 SCIENTIST
 (301) 490-2566
Business Contact
Phone: () -
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
THIOBACILLUS FERROOXIDANS CATALYZES IRON (II) OXIDATION AND HEAVY METAL LEACHING FROM LOW GRADE ORES BY A COMPLEX PROCESS. BIOLOGICAL LEACHING IS A COMPOSITE OF DIRECT OXIDATION OF METALS BY THE ORGANISM AND THE OXIDIZING ACTIVITY OF FE3+ PRODUCED BY BIOLOGICAL OXIDATION OF FESO4. THE BLUE COPPER PROTEIN, RUSTICYANIN, IS THOUGHT TO BE THE INITIAL ACCEPTOR OF ELECTRONS FROM FE2+ (COX & BOXER, 1978; COX ET AL., 1978; INGLEDEW, 1982; INGLEDEW ET AL., 1977; 1978) AND OTHER METALS (DISPIRITO & TUOVIENEN, 1982; 1984). THIS PROTEIN IS, THEREFORE, A KEY INTERMEDIATE IN METAL OXIDATION AND LEACHING. COX & BOXER (UNPUBLISHED) HAVE ALSOOBTAINED EVIDENCE THAT RUSTICYANIN CATALYZES THE RATE LIMITING STEP IN METAL OXIDATION BY T.FERROOXIDANS. WE HOPE TO DEOMONSTRATE THE FEASIBILITY OF A MOLECULAR BIOLOGICAL APPROACH TO CLONING THE GENE ENCODING RUSTICYANIN. THIS REQUIRES DEVELOPMENT OF GENETIC TRANSFORMATION AND CLONING SYSTEMS IN T.FERROOXIDANS, AND A METHOD FOR SELECTING REUSTICYANIN-DEFICIENT MUTANTS. IN PARALLEL, WE WILL (I) TRANSFER ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE TO THE ORGANISM BY A METHOD DESCRIBED FOR OTHER THIOBACILLI (DAVIDSON & SUMMERS, 1983; HOLMES ET AL., 1983; KULPA ET AL., 1983) (IN ORDER TO UNDERSTAND TRANSFORMATION AND CLONING IN T.FERROOXIDANS), AND (II) DETERMINE THE FEASIBILITY OF SELECTING RUSTICYANIN-DEFICIENT MUTANTS. COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS LIE IN THE ABILITY TO CONSTRUCT A SYSTEM FOR LEACHING HIGH VALUE AND STRATEGICALLY IMPORTANT METALS FROM LOW GRADE ORES THAT WOULD OTHERWISE BE ECONOMICALLY UNWORKABLE.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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