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Proteome nameAcidithiobacillus ferrooxidans ATCC 23270 - Reference proteome
Proteome IDiUP000001362
StrainATCC 23270 / DSM 14882 / CIP 104768 / NCIMB 8455
Taxonomy243159 - Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans (strain ATCC 23270 / DSM 14882 / CIP 104768 / NCIMB 8455)
Last modifiedFebruary 4, 2017
Genome assembly GCA_000021485.1 from ENA/EMBL
Pan proteomei This proteome is part of the Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans ATCC 23270 pan proteome (fasta)

Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans (strain ATCC 23270 / DSM 14882 / NCIB 8455) is a facultative anaerobic, chemolithoautotrophic, Gram-negative proteobacterium that thrives optimally at 30 degrees Celsius and pH 2, but can grow at pH 1 or lower. It is abundant in areas of high sulfur content and in natural environments associated with pyritic ore bodies, coal deposits, and their acidified drainages.

A. ferrooxidans is one of the few microorganisms known to gain energy by the oxidation of ferrous iron in acidic environments, using the low pH of its natural environment to generate reverse electron flow from Fe(II) to NADH. It can also obtain energy by the oxidation of reduced sulfur compounds, hydrogen, and formate. A. ferrooxidans, which has several D-ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (RuBisCO), fixes CO2 via the Calvin cycle using energy and reducing power derived from the oxidation of iron or sulfur. It can meet its nitrogen needs by either nitrogen fixation or ammonia assimilation.

The microorganism makes an important contribution to the biogeochemical cycling of metals in the environment and has the potential to assist in the bioremediation of contaminated sites and for the recovery of important metals such as gold, uranium, and copper from low grade ore by its ability to oxidize and reduce metals. It is for this reason that A. ferrooxidans is used in a bacterial consortium, along with the organism Leptospirillum ferrooxidans by mining companies for extraction of metals. For example, it is used to recover copper via a process known as bioleaching or biomining. Bioleaching of copper ores is a two-step process: first, the biological oxidation of Fe(II) to produce Fe(III); second, the chemical oxidation of Cu(I) to the more soluble Cu(II) by Fe(III) which is reduced to Fe(II) in the process. A. ferrooxidans plays a key role by reoxidizing the Fe(II) to Fe(III), thus completing the cycle and allowing bioleaching to continue. Another unusual propertie of A. ferrooxidans is its ability to aerobically oxidize solid substrates such as pyrite (FeS2). Since the substrate cannot enter the cell, initial electron removal must take place either within the outer cell membrane or completely outside the cell via extracellular polymeric substances.


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  1. "Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans metabolism: from genome sequence to industrial applications."
    Valdes J., Pedroso I., Quatrini R., Dodson R.J., Tettelin H., Blake R. II, Eisen J.A., Holmes D.S.
    BMC Genomics 2008:597-597(2008) [PubMed] [Europe PMC] [Abstract]