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Forschungsschwerpunkte / Research topics:

An extremely thermoacidophilic archaeon Metallosphaera sedula is a member of the archaeal order Sulfolobales, thrives in hot acid (optimal growth at 74°C and pH 2.0) and utilizes energy from the sources that are inaccessible to other life forms, respiring aerobically on iron and reduced inorganic sulfur compounds (RISCs). This unique representative of polyextremophiles is capable of bioleaching, i.e. recovery of valuable and strategically important metals from sulfide ores. Biotic redox regeneration of Fe3+ from Fe2+ performed by M. sedula is the key to chemical attack of metal sulfide ores, while biooxidation of RISCs contributes to the mineral dissolution and influences leaching kinetics in a particular manner.

The current research program focuses on the characterization of M. sedula Iron and Sulfur oxidation machinery, which is a critical element in bioleaching performance of this microorganism. Main research interests are aimed into three directions:

Institut für Biophysikalische Chemie
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