Have you heard of Cupravidius metallidurans and Delftia acidovorans?
Cupravidius metallidurans and Delftia acidovorus truly are real gold bugs – gold producing or gold mining bacteria.
Let me show you how those two bacteria are able to create gold deposits like miniature miners.
The bacteria Cupriavidus metallidurans lives in soils that have high concentrations of metals such as gold, or copper in them. For most other bacteria such metal-laden soils are highly toxic. They cannot grow and reproduce there.
Cupravidius metallidurans on the contrary has developed the ability to withstand the effects of toxic metals. The bacterium does this through changing the toxic soluble forms of heavy metals into non-solubable forms of metals. The non-solubable form of gold is….a gold nugget.
Thus, this gold mining bacterium produces pure gold from the heavy metal waste containing gold chloride (the soluble gold). In nature it plays a key role in creating so-called secondary gold deposits (primary deposits are original ancient geological formations of gold ores).
How exactly Cupravidius metallidurans achieves this feat was discovered by a joint research team from Australia and Germany in 2018. If you check out the link you can also see nice pictures of the bacteria and the gold they produced.
Cupravidius metallidurans‘ “colleague” Delftia acidovorans uses means similar to the ones used by the former gold digger. However, while Cupravidius metallidurans forms the insoluble gold through mechanisms inside the cell Delftia acidovorans secrets a substance that binds the soluble gold toxic to bacteria outside the cell. The substance thus turns it into harmless mineralized pure solid gold.
Scientists who discovered the gold digging microbe’s ability to secret a substance to bind gold outside the cell named the substance delftibactin.
So there you have it. By just defending themselves against the toxic effects of heavy metals Cupravidius metallidurans and Delftia acidovorans have arguably become the first real and original gold bugs ??.
Would you like to have a fermenter full of these microminers at home or rather some gold bug shares (i.e. shares in gold mining companies)?