Isolation and characterization of Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans strain D3-2 active in copper bioleaching from a copper mine in Chile

Tsuyoshi Sugio, Masanori Wakabayashi, Tadayoshi Kanao, Fumiaki Takeuchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)


Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans strain D3-2, which has a high copper bioleaching activity, was isolated from a low-grade sulfide ore dump in Chile. The amounts of Cu2+ solubilized from 1% chalcopyrite (CuFeS 2) concentrate medium (pH 2.5) by A. ferrooxidans strains D3-2, D3-6, and ATCC 23270 and 33020 were 1360, 1080, 650, and 600 mg·l -1·30 d-1. The iron oxidase activities of D3-2, D3-6, and ATCC 23270 were 11.7, 13.2, and 27.9 μl O2 uptake·mg protein-1·min-1. In contrast, the sulfite oxidase activities of strains D3-2, D3-6, and ATCC 23270 were 5.8, 2.9, and 1.0 μl O2 uptake·mg protein -1·min-1. Both of cell growth and Cu-bioleaching activity of strains D3-6 and ATCC 23270, but not, of D3-2, in the chalcopyrite concentrate medium were completely inhibited in the presence of 5 mM sodium bisulfite. The sulfite oxidase of strain D3-2 was much more resistant to sulfite ion than that of strain ATCC 23270. Since sulfite ion is a highly toxic intermediate produced during sulfur oxidation that strongly inhibits iron oxidase activity, these results confirm that strain D3-2, with a unique sulfite resistant-sulfite oxidase, was able to solubilize more copper from chalcopyrite than strain ATCC 23270, with a sulfite-sensitive sulfite oxidase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)998-1004
Number of pages7
JournalBioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - May 20 2008



  • Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans
  • Copper bioleaching
  • Iron oxidation
  • Sulfite oxidation
  • Sulfur oxidation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

Cite this