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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 203197, 13 pages
Research Article

Effects of Arsenite Resistance on the Growth and Functional Gene Expression of Leptospirillum ferriphilum and Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans in Pure Culture and Coculture

1School of Minerals Processing and Bioengineering, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan 410083, China
2Key Laboratory of Biometallurgy of the Ministry of Education, Changsha, Hunan 410083, China

Received 29 January 2015; Revised 16 March 2015; Accepted 18 March 2015

Academic Editor: Qaisar Mahmood

Copyright © 2015 Huidan Jiang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The response of iron-oxidizing Leptospirillum ferriphilum YSK and sulfur-oxidizing Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans A01 to arsenite under pure culture and coculture was investigated based on biochemical characterization (concentration of iron ion and pH value) and related gene expression. L. ferriphilum YSK and At. thiooxidans A01 in pure culture could adapt up to 400 mM and 800 mM As(III) after domestication, respectively, although arsenite showed a negative effect on both strains. The coculture showed a stronger sulfur and ferrous ion oxidation activity when exposed to arsenite. In coculture, the pH value showed no significant difference when under 500 mM arsenite stress, and the cell number of At. thiooxidans was higher than that in pure culture benefiting from the interaction with L. ferriphilum. The expression profile showed that the arsenic efflux system in the coculture was more active than that in pure culture, indicating that there is a synergetic interaction between At. thiooxidans A01 and L. ferriphilum YSK. In addition, a model was proposed to illustrate the interaction between arsenite and the ars operon in L. ferriphilum YSK and At. thiooxidans A01. This study will facilitate the effective application of coculture in the bioleaching process by taking advantage of strain-strain communication and coordination.