Enhancement of Metallosphaera sedula Bioleaching by Targeted Recombination and Adaptive Laboratory Evolution

Samuel McCarthy, Chenbing Ai, Paul Blum

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

14 Scopus citations


Thermophilic and lithoautotrophic archaea such as Metallosphaera sedula occupy acidic, metal-rich environments and are used in biomining processes. Biotechnological approaches could accelerate these processes and improve metal recovery by biomining organisms, but systems for genetic manipulation in these organisms are currently lacking. To gain a better understanding of the interplay between metal resistance, autotrophy, and lithotrophic metabolism, a genetic system was developed for M. sedula and used to evaluate parameters governing the efficiency of copper bioleaching. Additionally, adaptive laboratory evolution was used to select for naturally evolved M. sedula cell lines with desirable phenotypes for biomining, and these adapted cell lines were shown to have increased bioleaching capacity and efficiency. Genomic methods were used to analyze mutations that led to resistance in the experimentally evolved cell lines, while transcriptomics was used to examine changes in stress-inducible gene expression specific to the environmental conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Applied Microbiology
EditorsGeoffrey Michael Gadd, Sima Sariaslani
PublisherAcademic Press Inc.
Number of pages31
ISBN (Print)9780128151822
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

Publication series

NameAdvances in Applied Microbiology
ISSN (Print)0065-2164


  • Adaptive laboratory evolution
  • Archaea
  • Bioleaching
  • Genetics
  • Metallosphaera sedula

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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