Density-dependent microbial calcium carbonate precipitation by drinking water bacteria via amino acid metabolism and biosorption

Xiaoxia Liu, Gernot Zarfel, Renata van der Weijden, Willibald Loiskandl, Brigitte Bitschnau, Inez J.T. Dinkla, Elmar C. Fuchs*, Astrid H. Paulitsch-Fuchs

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Drinking water plumbing systems appear to be a unique environment for microorganisms as they contain few nutrients but a high mineral concentration. Interactions between mineral content and bacteria, such as microbial calcium carbonate precipitation (MCP) however, has not yet attracted too much attention in drinking water sector. This study aims to carefully examine MCP behavior of two drinking water bacteria species, which may potentially link scaling and biofouling processes in drinking water distribution systems. Evidence from cell density evolution, chemical parameters, and microscopy suggest that drinking water isolates can mediate CaCO3 precipitation through previously overlooked MCP mechanisms like ammonification or biosorption. The results also illustrate the active control of bacteria on the MCP process, as the calcium starts to concentrate onto cell surfaces only after reaching a certain cell density, even though the cell surfaces are shown to be the ideal location for the CaCO3 nucleation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number117444
JournalWater Research
Volume202
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021

Keywords

  • Biofilm
  • Drinking water bacteria
  • DWDS
  • MCP
  • Opportunistic pathogen
  • Scale

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