University of Dundee

Geomicrobiology Group

 

Transformations of metals and minerals by microorganisms, bioweathering and bioremediation

The Geomicrobiology Group carries out research on the geoactive properties of microorganisms in order to understand their importance in key biosphere processes and their applied potential. The prime focus is on metal-mineral transformations with most research under the heading of geomycology, the roles of fungi as geoactive agents. We are particularly interested in understanding physiological and morphological responses to toxic metals and mineral substrates, mechanisms of mineral dissolution, and the formation of novel mycogenic biominerals, especially carbonates, phosphates, oxides and oxalates. Research of applied significance that builds on our fundamental research includes the application of metal-mineral-microbe transformations for bioremediation of metals, metalloids and radionuclides, nuclear decommissioning, biofertilizers (phosphate release), and the production of mineral-based biomaterials. We are also interested in the biodeterioration of rock and mineral-based structural materials including concrete and cultural artefacts, as well as biocorrosion of metals. Research on the functional consequences and mathematical modelling of fungal growth in heterogeneous environments is carried out with Dr Fordyce Davidson, Division of Mathematics. Previous research has also included work with aerobic and anaerobic bacteria, cyanobacteria and microalgae in relation to toxic metal accumulation, metal bioprecipitation, and investigation of the responses of soil microbial communities to metals and organic pollutants. We are also affiliated to the Division of Molecular Microbiology.

Publications

  1. Ceci, A., Pinzari, F., Riccardi, C., Maggi, O., Pierro, L., Papini, M.P., Gadd, G.M, and Persiani, A.M. (2018). Metabolic synergies in the biotransformation of organic and metallic toxic compounds by a saprotrophic soil fungus. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 102, 1019-1033.
  2. Wufuer, R., Mu, S., Song, W., Liu, W., Zhang, D., Pan, X. and Gadd, G.M. (2018). A survey of uranium polluted levels in urine and hair of people living in a coal mining area in Yili, Xinjiang, China. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity 189, 168-174.
  3. Rangel, D.E.N., Finlay, R.D., Hallsworth, J.E., Dadachova, E. and Gadd, G.M. (2018). Fungal strategies for dealing with environment- and agriculture-induced stresses. Fungal Biology 122, 602-612.
  4. Wang, X., Song, W.,  Qian, H., Zhang, D., Pan, X.  and Gadd, G.M.  (2018). Stabilizing interaction of exopolymers with nano-Se and impact on mercury immobilization in soil and groundwater. Environmental Science: Nano 5, 456-466.
  5. Wang, X., Zhang, D., Qian, H., Liang, Y., Pan, X. and Gadd, G.M. (2018). Interactions between biogenic selenium nanoparticles and goethite colloids and consequence for remediation of elemental mercury contaminated groundwater.  Science of the Total Environment 613-614, 672-678.
  6. Wang, X., Heb, Z., Luo, H., Zhang, M., Zhang, D., Pan, X. and Gadd, G.M. (2018). Multiple-pathway remediation of mercury contamination by a versatile selenite-reducing bacterium. Science of the Total Environment 615, 615-623.
  7. He, Z., Zhang, Q., Feng, Y., Luo, H., Pan, X. and Gadd, G.M. (2018). Microbiological and environmental significance of metal-dependent anaerobic oxidation of methane.  Science of the Total Environment 610-611, 759-768.
  8. Gleason, F.H., Gadd, G.M., Pitt, J.I. and Larkum, A.W.D. (2017). The roles of endolithic fungi in bioerosion and disease in marine ecosystems. II. Potential facultatively parasitic anamorphic ascomycetes can cause disease in corals and molluscs. Mycology 8, 216-227
  9. Gleason, F.H., Gadd, G.M., Pitt, J.I. and Larkum, A.W.D. (2017). The roles of endolithic fungi in bioerosion and disease in marine ecosystems. I. General concepts. Mycology 8, 205-215.
  10. Li, Q., and Gadd, G. M. (2017). Fungal nanoscale metal carbonates and production of electrochemical materials. Microbial Biotechnology 10, 1131-1136.
  11. Liang, X. and Gadd, G.M. (2017). Metal and metalloid biorecovery using fungi. Microbial Biotechnology 10, 1199-1205.
  12. Gadd, G.M. and Dyer, T.D. (2017). Bioprotection of the built environment and cultural heritage. Microbial Biotechnology 10, 1152-1156.
  13. Li, Q., and Gadd, G. M. (2017). Biosynthesis of copper carbonate nanoparticles by ureolytic fungi. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 101, 7397-7407.
  14. Gadd, G.M. (2017). New horizons in geomycology. Environmental Microbiology Reports 9, 4-7.
  15. Ceci, A., Pinzari, F., Riccardi, C., Maggi, O., Pierro, L., Papini, M.P., Gadd, G.M. and Persiani, A.M. (2018). Metabolic synergies in the biotransformation of organic and metallic toxic compounds by a saprotrophic soil fungus. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 102, 1019-1033.
  16. Gadd, G.M. (2017). Geomicrobiology of the built environment. Nature Microbiology 2, Number 16275, doi:10.1038/nmicrobiol.2016.275.
  17. Gadd, G.M. (2017). Fungi, rocks and minerals. Elements 13, 171-176.
  18. Wufuer, R., Song, W., Liu, W., Zhang, D., Pan, X. and Gadd, G.M. (2017). Uranium bioreduction and biomineralization. Advances in Applied Microbiology 101, 137-168.
  19. Fomina, M., Bowen, A.D., Charnock, J.M., Podgorsky, V.S. and Gadd, G.M. (2017). Biogeochemical spatio-temporal transformation of copper in Aspergillus niger colonies grown on malachite with different inorganic nitrogen sources. Environmental Microbiology 19: 1310-1321.
  20. Wang, X., Zhang, D., Pan, X., Lee, D-J., Al-Misned, F.A., Golam Mortuza, M. and Gadd, G.M. (2017). Aerobic and anaerobic biosynthesis of nano-selenium for remediation of mercury contaminated soil. Chemosphere 170: 266-273.
  21. Kumari, D., Qian, X-Y., Pan, X., Achal, V., Li, Q. and Gadd, G.M. (2016). Microbially-induced carbonate precipitation for immobilization of toxic metals. Advances in Applied Microbiology 94, 79-108 (invited review).
  22. Li, Q., Liu, D., Jia, Z., Csetenyi, L. and Gadd, G.M. (2016). Fungal biomineralization of manganese as a novel source of electrochemical materials. Current Biology 26, 950-955.
  23. Liang, X., Csetenyi, L. and Gadd, G.M. (2016). Uranium precipitation mediated by yeasts utilizing organic phosphorus substrates. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 100, 5141-5151.
  24. Gadd, G.M. and Pan, X. (2016). Biomineralization, bioremediation and biorecovery of toxic metals and radionuclides. Geomicrobiology Journal 33, 175-178 (introductory article for Special Issue).
  25. Li, L., Song, W., Deng, C., Zhang, D., Al-Misned, F.A., Golam Mortuz, M., Gadd, G.M. and Pan, X. (2016) Effects of pH and salinity on adsorption of hypersaline photosynthetic microbial mat exoploymers to goethite: a study using a quartz crystal microbalance and fluorescence spectroscopy. Geomicrobiology Journal 33, 332-337.
  26. Liang, X., Csetenyi, L. and Gadd, G.M. (2016). Lead bioprecipitation by yeasts utilizing organic phosphorus substrates. Geomicrobiology Journal 33, 294-307.
  27. Yang, J., Pan, X., Mou, S., Achal, V., Al-Misned, F.A., Golam Mortuz, M., Gadd, G.M. (2016).  Bioimmobilization of heavy metals in acidic copper mine tailings soil. Geomicrobiology Journal 33, 261-266.
  28. Song, W., Deng, C., Pan, X., Zhang, D., Al-Misned, F.A., Golam Mortuz, M. and Gadd, G.M. (2016). Effects of pH shock on Hg(II) complexation by exopolymers from Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans. Geomicrobiology Journal 33, 325-331.
  29. Chen, F., Deng, C., Song, W., Zhang, D., Al-Misned, F.A., Golam Mortuz, M., Gadd, G.M. and Pan, X. (2016). Biostabilization of desert sands using bacterially-induced calcite precipitation. Geomicrobiology Journal 33, 243-249.
  30. Rhee, Y.J., Hillier, S. and Gadd, G.M. (2016).  A new lead hydroxycarbonate produced during transformation of lead metal by the soil fungus Paecilomyces javanicus. Geomicrobiology Journal 33, 250-260.
  31. Kaewdoung, B.,  Sutjaritvorakul, T., Gadd, G.M., Whalley, A.J.S. and Sihanonth, P. (2016).  Heavy metal tolerance and biotransformation of toxic metal compounds by new isolates of wood-rotting fungi from Thailand. Geomicrobiology Journal 33, 283-288.
  32. Sutjaritvorakul, T., Gadd, G.M., Whalley, A.J.S., Suntornvongsagul, K. and Sihanonth, P. (2016).  Zinc oxalate crystal formation by Aspergillus nomius. Geomicrobiology Journal 33, 289-293.
  33. Liang, X., Kierans, M., Ceci, A., Hillier, S. and Gadd, G.M. (2016). Phosphatase-mediated bioprecipitation of lead by soil fungi. Environmental Microbiology 18, 219-231.
  34. Ceci, A., Kierans, M., Hillier, S., Persiani, A.M. and Gadd, G.M. (2015). Fungal bioweathering of mimetite and a general geomycological model for lead apatite mineral biotransformations. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 81, 4955-4964.
  35. Ceci, A., Pierro, L., Riccardi, C., Pinzari, F., Maggi, O., Persiani, A.M., Gadd, G.M. and Marco Petrangeli Papini, M.P. (2015). Biotransformation of β-hexachlorocyclohexane by the saprotrophic soil fungus Penicillium griseofulvum. Chemosphere 137, 101-107.
  36. Li, Q., Csetenyi, L., Paton, G.I. and Gadd, G.M. (2015). CaCO3 and SrCO3 bioprecipitation by fungi isolated from calcareous soil. Environmental Microbiology 17, 3082-3097.
  37. Kim, B.H., Lim, S.S., Daud, W.R.W., Gadd, G.M. and Chang, I.S. (2015). The biocathode of microbial electrochemical systems and microbially-influenced corrosion. Bioresource Technology 190, 395-401.
  38. Liang, X., Hillier, S., Pendlowski, H., Gray, N., Ceci, A. and Gadd, G.M. (2015). Uranium phosphate biomineralization by fungi. Environmental Microbiology 17, 2064-2075.
  39. Ceci, A., Rhee, Y.J., Kierans, M., Hillier, S., Pendlowski, H., Gray, N., Persiani, A.M. and Gadd, G.M. (2015). Transformation of vanadinite (Pb5(VO4)3Cl) by fungi. Environmental Microbiology 17, 2018-2034.
  40. Li, Q., Csetenyi,L. and Gadd, G.M. (2014). Biomineralization of metal carbonates by Neurospora crassa. Environmental Science and Technology 48, 14409-14416.
  41. Gadd, G. M., Bahri-Esfahani, J., Li, Q., Rhee, Y.J., Wei, Z., 1, Fomina, M., Liang, X. (2014). Oxalate production by fungi: significance in geomycology, biodeterioration and bioremediation. Fungal Biology Reviews 28, 36–55 (invited review).
  42. Rhee, Y.J., Hillier, S., Pendlowski, H. and Gadd, G.M. (2014). Pyromorphite formation in a fungal biofilm community growing on lead metal. Environmental Microbiology 16, 1441–1451.
  43. Rhee, Y.J., Hillier, S., Pendlowski, H. and Gadd, G.M. (2014). Fungal transformation of metallic lead to pyromorphite in liquid medium. Chemosphere 113, 17-21.
  44. Wei, Z., Liang, X., Pendlowski, H., Hillier, S., Suntornvongsagul, K., Sihanonth, P. and Gadd, G.M. (2013) Fungal biotransformation of zinc silicate and sulfide mineral ores. Environmental Microbiology 15: 2173-2176.
  45. Pinzari, F., Tate, J., Bicchieri, M.,  Rhee, Y.J., and Gadd, G.M. (2013) Biodegradation of ivory (natural apatite): possible involvement of fungal activity in biodeterioration of the Lewis Chessmen. Environmental Microbiology 15: 1050–1062.
  46. Kangwankraiphaisan, T., Suntornvongsagul, K., Sihanonth, P., Klysubun, W. and Gadd, G.M. (2013).  Influence of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) on zinc biogeochemistry in the rhizosphere of Lindenbergia philippensis growing in zinc-contaminated sediment. Biometals 26, 489–505.
  47. Rhee, Y.J., Hillier, S., and Gadd, G.M. (2012). Lead transformation to pyromorphite by fungi. Current Biology 22: 237-241.
  48. Wei, Z., Hillier, S. and  Gadd, G.M. (2012). Biotransformation of manganese oxides by fungi: solubilization and production of manganese oxalate biominerals.Environmental Microbiology 14:1744-1753.
  49. Gadd, G.M. (2010). Metals, minerals and microbes: geomicrobiology and bioremediation (Colworth Prize Lecture). Microbiology 156: 609 – 643.
  50. Gadd, G.M. and Raven, J.A. (2010). Geomicrobiology of eukaryotic microorganisms. Geomicrobiology Journal 27: 491-519.
  51. Fomina, M., Burford, E.P., Hillier, S., Kierans, M. and Gadd, G.M. (2010). Rock-building fungi. Geomicrobiology Journal 27: 624-629.
  52. Fomina, M., Charnock, J.M., Hillier, S., Alvarez, R., Livens, F. and Gadd, G.M.  (2008). Role of fungi in the biogeochemical fate of depleted uranium. Current Biology  18: 375-377.

         

Principal Investigators

Professor Geoff Gadd FSB FLS FLSW FRSE
Boyd Baxter Chair of Biology
Geomicrobiology, Geomycology and Bioremediation