Buetti-Dinh A, Herold M, Christel S, Hajjami ME, Bellenberg S, Ilie O, Wilmes P, Poetsch A, Sand W, Vera M, Pivkin IV, Dopson M
Sci Data 7 (1) 215 [2020-07-07; online 2020-07-07]
Society's demand for metals is ever increasing while stocks of high-grade minerals are being depleted. Biomining, for example of chalcopyrite for copper recovery, is a more sustainable biotechnological process that exploits the capacity of acidophilic microbes to catalyze solid metal sulfide dissolution to soluble metal sulfates. A key early stage in biomining is cell attachment and biofilm formation on the mineral surface that results in elevated mineral oxidation rates. Industrial biomining of chalcopyrite is typically carried out in large scale heaps that suffer from the downsides of slow and poor metal recoveries. In an effort to mitigate these drawbacks, this study investigated planktonic and biofilm cells of acidophilic (optimal growth pH < 3) biomining bacteria. RNA and proteins were extracted, and high throughput "omics" performed from a total of 80 biomining experiments. In addition, micrographs of biofilm formation on the chalcopyrite mineral surface over time were generated from eight separate experiments. The dataset generated in this project will be of great use to microbiologists, biotechnologists, and industrial researchers.