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APPLIED AND ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBIOLOGY
Vol.
76, No. 14, 2010; Pages: 4871–4875

Promotion of Mn(II) Oxidation and Remediation of Coal Mine Drainage in Passive Treatment Systems by Diverse Fungal and Bacterial Communities

Cara M. Santelli,1* Donald H. Pfister,2 Dana Lazarus,1 Lu Sun,1 William D. Burgos,3 and Colleen M. Hansel1*

Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Pierce Hall, Hansel Group, Cambridge, MA 02138.

Abstract

Biologically active, passive treatment systems are commonly employed for removing high concentrations of dissolved Mn(II) from coal mine drainage (CMD). Studies of microbial communities contributing to Mn attenuation through the oxidation of Mn(II) to sparingly soluble Mn(III/IV) oxide minerals, however, have been sparse to date. This study reveals a diverse community of Mn(II)-oxidizing fungi and bacteria existing in several CMD treatment systems. Acidic, metal-laden mine drainage is a significant problem for many regions in the United States and throughout the world. In Appalachia, centuries of coal mining has left thousands of abandoned mines that are discharging waters containing elevated levels of metals—particularly Mn, with concentrations as high as 150 mg liter-1 (see reference 9 and references therein and reference 23). In the eastern United States, one of the most common methods to remediate coal mine drainage (CMD) is the use of biologically active limestone treatment beds. In essence, dissolved metals, such as Mn(II), are immobilized in the treatment bed via precipitation of sparingly soluble oxide minerals (23, 24) that effectively remove other metal contaminants (e.g., Ni, Co, and Zn) through coprecipitation and surface adsorption reactions (26, 31, 47).

Keywords:Mn(II) Oxidation and Remediation of Coal Mine;Fungal; Bacterial Communities;Plectosphaerella cucumerina;Stilbella aciculosa;Microdochium bolleyi.


Corresponding author: Tel (617) 495-2858, Fax (617) 496-1471.

E-mail: hansel@seas.harvard.edu

 

 
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