Microbial Tungsten Assimilation

Tetyana Milojevic (Korresp. Autor*in)

Veröffentlichungen: Beitrag in BuchBeitrag in Buch/SammelbandPeer Reviewed


Hard and rare metal tungsten (W) with its extraordinary properties (high melting/boiling points and density) is one of the heaviest elements known to be used by living organisms and occur in biomolecules. Unique physical and mechanical properties of tungsten make this heavy metal indispensable in modern high-tech industry; however, in spite of extensive W utilization, the bio-inspired technological processing of tungsten resources is not yet established. Nowadays, our understanding of the possible role of microorganisms in natural environments enriched with tungsten is restricted by the lack of research into tungsten–microbial interactions. The biogeochemistry of tungsten is very limitedly presented in just a handful of publications. This chapter discusses the role of tungsten–microbial interactions in tungsten enriched biotopes and mineral environments resolved through fundamental and applied investigations. Tungsten is an essential element, constitutive, and functional part of tungstopterin cofactor of several bacterial and archaeal enzymes. In spite that functional tungsten-based microbial respiration has not yet been discovered, several newly described tungsten–microbial biomineralized interfaces have the potential for further biotechnological developments such as tungsten biosorption from wastewaters and bioleaching of tungsten ores. Tungsten encapsulation of archaeal cell surface has been proposed to function as a microbial radioprotective armor during interplanetary travel, enabling further studies of microbial survival in the outer space environment and helping answer fundamental questions of astrobiology. Newly described tungsten-containing biomolecules, tungsten–microbial interfaces and their corresponding biotechnological applications can further help unravel the biogeochemistry of tungsten.
TitelMicrobial Metabolism of Metals and Metalloids
Redakteure*innenChriston J. Hurst
Herausgeber (Verlag)Springer
ISBN (elektronisch)978-3-030-97185-4
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-97184-7
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 24 Apr. 2022


ReiheAdvances in Environmental Microbiology

ÖFOS 2012

  • 106022 Mikrobiologie
  • 104023 Umweltchemie


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