Extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) is proposed to facilitate calcium ion supersaturation through its nucleation effect during the microbially induced calcium carbonate precipitation (MICP) process. However, the supersaturation effect of Ca2+ via EPS in MICP has not been clearly demonstrated. Enhanced exopolysaccharide production of the alkali- and halotolerant MICP-capable bacteria, Bacillus sp. JH7, was achieved through glycerol addition. This was demonstrated by measuring cellular precipitation and Congo red binding. Interestingly, field emission scanning electron microscopy and energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometry analysis demonstrated that there was no MICP under glycerol-amended conditions. Although glycerol promoted exopolysaccharide capture of Ca2+ ions, Ca2+ embedded onto EPS did not participate in MICP formation. The pH was reduced in glycerol-added media, which led us to analyze high acetate production under our test conditions. Purified glycerol-induced exopolysaccharide showed a higher capacity of Ca2+ capture than the control. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis showed that three genes involved in exopolysaccharide production were highly upregulated by glycerol. The amounts of three detected monosaccharides (arabinose, glucose, and mannose) were altered by glycerol. Cell hydrophobicity measurements indicated that glycerol could confer more hydrophilic characteristics to cells, which might enhance Ca2+ binding onto EPS. Unexpectedly, our data demonstrated, for the first time, that glycerol could promote exopolysaccharide and acetate production under our test condition, which could inhibit MICP by reducing the availability of free Ca2+.
- Calcium carbonate
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology