Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/90305
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Type: Journal article
Title: Geobiological cycling of gold: from fundamental process understanding to exploration solutions
Author: Reith, F.
Brugger, J.
Zammit, C.
Nies, D.
Southam, G.
Citation: Minerals, 2013; 3(4):367-394
Publisher: MDPI
Issue Date: 2013
ISSN: 2075-163X
2075-163X
Statement of
Responsibility: 
Frank Reith, Joël Brugger, Carla M. Zammit, Dietrich H. Nies and Gordon Southam
Abstract: Microbial communities mediating gold cycling occur on gold grains from (sub)-tropical, (semi)-arid, temperate and subarctic environments. The majority of identified species comprising these biofilms are β-Proteobacteria. Some bacteria, e.g., Cupriavidus metallidurans, Delftia acidovorans and Salmonella typhimurium, have developed biochemical responses to deal with highly toxic gold complexes. These include gold specific sensing and efflux, co-utilization of resistance mechanisms for other metals, and excretion of gold-complex-reducing siderophores that ultimately catalyze the biomineralization of nano-particulate, spheroidal and/or bacteriomorphic gold. In turn, the toxicity of gold complexes fosters the development of specialized biofilms on gold grains, and hence the cycling of gold in surface environments. This was not reported on isoferroplatinum grains under most near-surface environments, due to the lower toxicity of mobile platinum complexes. The discovery of gold-specific microbial responses can now drive the development of geobiological exploration tools, e.g., gold bioindicators and biosensors. Bioindicators employ genetic markers from soils and groundwaters to provide information about gold mineralization processes, while biosensors will allow in-field analyses of gold concentrations in complex sampling media.
Keywords: gold; bacteria; cycling; biomineralization; review; exploration; bioindicator; biosensor
Rights: © 2013 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).
RMID: 0030022250
DOI: 10.3390/min3040367
Grant ID: http://purl.org/au-research/grants/arc/LP100200102
Appears in Collections:Earth and Environmental Sciences publications

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