Biosorption mechanisms involved in immobilization of soil Pb by Bacillus subtilis DBM in a multimetal-contaminated soil

Jun Bai , Xiuhong Yang , Ruiying Du , Yanmei Chen , Shizhong Wang , Rongliang Qiu


Received November 28, 2013,Revised April 03, 2014, Accepted , Available online October 22, 2014

Volume 26,2014,Pages 2056-2064

Mechanisms of soil Pb immobilization by Bacillus subtilis DBM, a bacterial strain isolated from a heavy-metal-contaminated soil, were investigated. Adsorption and desorption experiments with living bacterial cells as well as dead cells revealed that both extracellular adsorption and intracellular accumulation were involved in the Pb2+ removal from the liquid phase. Of the sequestered Pb(Ⅱ), 8.5% was held by physical entrapment within the cell wall, 43.3% was held by ion-exchange, 9.7% was complexed with cell surface functional groups or precipitated on the cell surface, and 38.5% was intracellularly accumulated. Complexation of Pb2+ with carboxyl, hydroxyl, carbonyl, amido, and phosphate groups was demonstrated by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopic analysis. Precipitates of Pb5(PO4)3OH, Pb5(PO4)3Cl and Pb10(PO4)6(OH)2 that formed on the cell surface during the biosorption process were identified by X-ray diffraction analysis. Transmission electron microscopy-energy dispersive spectroscopic analysis confirmed the presence of the Pb(Ⅱ) precipitates and that Pb(Ⅱ) could be sequestered both extracellularly and intracellularly. Incubation with B. subtilis DBM significantly decreased the amount of the weak-acid-soluble Pb fraction in a heavy-metal-contaminated soil, resulting in a reduction in Pb bioavailability, but increased the amount of its organic-matter-bound fraction by 71%. The ability of B. subtilis DBM to reduce the bioavailability of soil Pb makes it potentially useful for bacteria-assisted phytostabilization of multi-heavy-metal-contaminated soil.

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