Accumulation of Thorium and Uranium by Microbes - the Effect of pH, Concentration of Metals, and Time Course on the Accumulation of Both Elements Using Streptomyces levoris

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The accumulation of thorium and uranium by various microorganisms from a solution containing both metals at pH 3.5 was examined. Among the tested species, a high accumulation ability for thorium was exhibited by strains of gram-positive bacteria, such as Arthrobacter nicotianae, Bacillus megaterium, B. subtilis, Micrococcus luteus, Rhodococcus erythropolis, and Streptomyces levoris. Though uranium was accumulated in small amounts by most of microorganisms, A. nicotianae, S. flavoviridis, and S. levoris had relatively high uranium accumulation abilities. In these high performance thorium- and uranium-accumulating microorganisms, S. levoris, which accumulated the largest amount of uranium from the solution containing only uranium at pH 3.5, accumulated about 300 μmol thorium and 133 μmol uranium per gram dry weight of microbial cells from a solution containing both thorium and uranium at pH 3.5. The amount and time course of the thorium accumulation were almost unaffected by the co-existing uranium, while those of uranium were strongly affected by the co-existing thorium. The effects of pH, the thorium and uranium concentrations, and time course on both metal accumulations were also evaluated by numerical formulas.


  • Journal of Nuclear and Radiochemical Sciences  

    Journal of Nuclear and Radiochemical Sciences 7(1), 1-6, 2006-06-01 

    The Japan Society of Nuclear and Radiochemical Sciences

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