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Biosolubilization of rock phosphates in a bioreactor using a microbial consortium from rhizospheric soils: An analysis

Minerals & Metallurgical Processing , 2018, Vol. 35, No. 4, pp. 184-191

Xiao, C.; Wang, Q.; Feng, B.; Xu, G.; Chi, R.



In recent years, the biosolubilization of rock phosphates by phosphate-solubilizing microorganisms has become a major topic of research studies. However, the microorganisms used in previous studies were mostly single and known species, and studies seldom focused on mixed communities of microorganisms or microbial consortia from natural environments. In this study, a microbial consortium from rhizospheric soil was used to solubilize two different compositions of medium- to low-grade rock phosphates — designated as ore samples 1 and 2 — in a laboratory-scale bioreactor. The microbial consortium showed good growth in the bioreactor, reduced the suspension pH and released soluble phosphates from the ores. Scanning electron microscopy with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy showed the action of the microbial consortium on the ore surface. There was considerable corrosion on the ore surface, and 3.42 and 4.93 percent of the element phosphorus was removed from ore samples 1 and 2, respectively. Microorganisms were sampled from the bioreactor for the analysis of their community structures by Illumina MiSeq high-throughput sequencing. The analysis show that the suspensions added with different ore samples had different microbial diversities and richness. This study provides new insight into the biosolubilization of rock phosphates by a microbial consortium directly taken from rhizospheric soils.