Lead bioprecipitation by yeasts utilizing organic phosphorus substrates

Xinjin Liang, Laszlo Csetenyi, Geoffrey Michael Gadd (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Yeasts can exhibit various mechanisms that effect changes in metal speciation, toxicity and mobility. This research has examined the role of yeast phosphatases in lead bioprecipitation when utilizing an organic phosphorus-containing substrate as the sole phosphorus source. The formation of lead-containing biominerals after growth with organic phosphorus sources (glycerol 2-phosphate, phytic acid) was demonstrated and it was found that test yeasts were capable of mediating precipitation of lead phosphate (Pb3(PO4)2), pyromorphite (Pb5(PO4)3Cl), anglesite (PbSO4), and the lead oxides massicot and litharge (PbO), with variations in the mineral types produced between the different species. All test yeasts produced pyromorphite, and most produced anglesite. Lead oxides were only detected with Pichia acacia. Lead-containing precipitates were also formed if yeast cells were pre-grown in organic-phosphorus-containing media and subsequently exposed to Pb(NO3)2. The role of phosphatases in mediating the formation of lead-containing minerals has provided further understanding of potential fungal roles in metal and mineral biogeochemistry as well as the possible significance of these mechanisms for element biorecovery or bioremediation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)294-307
Number of pages14
JournalGeomicrobiology Journal
Issue number3-4
Early online date25 Feb 2016
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2016


  • Biomineralization
  • bioprecipitation
  • fungi
  • lead
  • phytase
  • phytic acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Microbiology
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Lead bioprecipitation by yeasts utilizing organic phosphorus substrates'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this