Acidithiobacillus sp. obtains energy from the oxidation of Fe2+ or reduced sulfur compounds. The proteins encoded by the rus operon are involved in the electron transfer from Fe2+ to O2. In this research, the expression of rus operon, proposed to evaluate the effects of pulp densities and UV-mutations in the Acidithiobacillus sp. FJ2 in the bioleaching process. As observed by real-time PCR, the rus operon genes were affected by pulp density and UV-mutations. rus operon gene expressions were modified differently by pulp density while, a number of induced bacteria were expressed more than control. Furthermore, at 5%, 10% and 50% pulp densities, the extraction of uranium by UV-induced bacteria was higher than that by the control bacteria. These results indicated that UV-mutations could affect the bacterial activity at bioleaching process which strongly supports the idea to facilitate the involvement of the rus operonencoded products in the oxidation of ferrous iron, leading to ore uranium extraction.
Samaneh Jahani, Faezeh Fatemi*, Saba Miri