Facultative and anaerobic consortia of haloalkaliphilic ureolytic micro-organisms capable of precipitating calcium carbonate

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Aims Development of biomineralization technologies has largely focused on microbially induced carbonate precipitation (MICP) via Sporosarcina pasteurii ureolysis; however, as an obligate aerobe, the general utility of this organism is limited. Here, facultative and anaerobic haloalkaliphiles capable of ureolysis were enriched, identified and then compared to S. pasteurii regarding biomineralization activities. Methods and Results Anaerobic and facultative enrichments for haloalkaliphilic and ureolytic micro‐organisms were established from sediment slurries collected at Soap Lake (WA). Optimal pH, temperature and salinity were determined for highly ureolytic enrichments, with dominant populations identified via a combination of high‐throughput SSU rRNA gene sequencing, clone libraries and Sanger sequencing of isolates. The enrichment cultures consisted primarily of Sporosarcina‐ and Clostridium‐like organisms. Ureolysis rates and direct cell counts in the enrichment cultures were comparable to the S. pasteurii (strain ATCC 11859) type strain. Conclusions Ureolysis rates from both facultatively and anaerobically enriched haloalkaliphiles were either not statistically significantly different to, or statistically significantly higher than, the S. pasteurii (strain ATCC 11859) rates. Work here concludes that extreme environments can harbour highly ureolytic active bacteria with potential advantages for large scale applications, such as environments devoid of oxygen. Significance and Impact of the Study The bacterial consortia and isolates obtained add to the possible suite of organisms available for MICP implementation, therefore potentially improving the economics and efficiency of commercial biomineralization.




Skorupa, D.J., Akyel, A., Fields, M.W., and Gerlach, R. (2019). Facultative and anaerobic consortia of haloalkaliphilic ureolytic micro‐organisms capable of precipitating calcium carbonate. Journal of Applied Microbiology 127, 1479–1489.
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