Biomineralization process occurring in iron mud of coastal seepage area of Zhoushan Island, Zhejiang province

Zi Jun Wu, Nan Jia, Lin Xi Yuan, Li Guang Sun*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The biomineralization process of iron oxidizing bacteria and its influence on accumulation of metals were investigated by modern biological observation techniques (i.e., SEM and TEM) and geochemical methods, in coastal area of Zhoushan Island, Zhejiang province where a thick ancient wood layers were buried, Results show that the iron mud samples mainly contain Leptothrix-like sheaths and Gallionella-like stalks, which are known as neutrophilic iron-oxidizing bacteria. These two bacteria are present as obviously different abundance in two sampling sites, which may be regulated by the geochemistry of seepage water. The biomineralization product of iron oxidizing bacteria is ferrihydrite, a poorly ordered iron oxide, and formation of amorphous mineral is affected by the factors of bacteria, minor Si and temperature preventing any further transformation into more crystalline phases. Organic functional groups, extracellular polymers and surface charges can provide favorable nucleation sites or template for formation of iron precipitates on the bacterial surface. The mineralization process of the iron oxidizing bacteria is divided into different stages, i.e., extracellular mineralization, intracellular mineralization and the whole cell mineralization. Furthermore, due to BIOS containing the bacterial organic matter, the accumulation capacity of metals specially Fe and Co is highly increased, suggesting that BIOS exert a degree of controlling in the cycling of metal elements in seepage area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1894-1904
Number of pages11
JournalChinese Science Bulletin
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Accumulation of metals
  • Ancient wood layer
  • Biomineralization
  • Neutrophilic iron-oxidizing bacteria
  • Seepage water

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