Growth inhibition by tungsten in the sulfur-oxidizing bacterium Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans

Atsunori Negishi, Tadashi Muraoka, Terunobu Maeda, Fumiaki Takeuchi, Tadayoshi Kanao, Kazuo Kamimura, Tsuyoshi Sugio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Growth of five strains of sulfur-oxidizing bacteria Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans, including strain NB1-3, was inhibited completely by 50 μM of sodium tungstate (Na2WO4). When the cells of NB1-3 were incubated in 0.1 M β-alanine-SO42- buffer (pH 3.0) with 100 μM Na2WO4 for 1 h, the amount of tungsten bound to the cells was 33 μg/mg protein. Approximately 10 times more tungsten was bound to the cells at pH 3.0 than at pH 7.0. The tungsten binding to NB1-3 cells was inhibited by oxyanions such as sodium molybdenum and ammonium vanadate. The activities of enzymes involved in elemental sulfur oxidation of NB1-3 cells such as sulfur oxidase, sulfur dioxygenase, and sulfite oxidase were strongly inhibited by Na2WO4. These results indicate that tungsten binds to NB1-3 cells and inhibits the sulfur oxidation enzyme system of the cells, and as a result, inhibits cell growth. When portland cement bars supplemented with 0.075% metal nickel and with 0.075% metal nickel and 0.075% calcium tungstate were exposed to the atmosphere of a sewage treatment plant containing 28 ppm of H2S for 2 years, the weight loss of the portland cement bar with metal nickel and calcium tungstate was much lower than the cement bar containing 0.075% metal nickel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2073-2080
Number of pages8
JournalBioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans
  • Bacteriostatic agent
  • Concrete corrosion
  • Sulfur oxidation
  • Tungsten

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Organic Chemistry


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