Bacteria that produce 24 Karat gold : Delftia acidovorans

According to believe Alchemist of old time have ability to transform base metals into gold. If there was a microbial equivalent to alchemist then it would be a bacterium called Delftia acidovorans.

This bacterium is one of a class of bacteria called metallphores that are able extract gold atoms out of toxic gold chloride solutions to create tiny nuggets of 24 karat gold.

Delftia acidovorans

Scientists have long known that Delftia acidovorans and a comparable organism called Cupriavidus metallidurans are very friendly to gold and can produce solid gold nugget out of toxic gold chloride solutions.These rod-shaped bacteria have simply evolved to tolerate high concentration of heavy metals and have built in ability to produce gold ions out of toxic solution.

When a toxic gold chloride solution is presented into an environment with Delftia acidovorans, the bacteria begin releasing a compound called Delftibactin. This compound causes the development of tiny gold nanoparticles, which are the parts of larger gold nuggets. This protects the bacteria and detoxifies the solution as well. Delftibactin excreted by the bacterium shields it and transforms the poisonous ions into 24 karat gold particles.

The gold extracting skill of this bacterium is surprising bacterium passes electrons to transform it to metallic form while other gold-altering bacterium Cupriavidus metallidurans does the conversion inside its cells. Might one day scientist will be process gold at mining area to produce gold particles with beneficial attributes.

Scientist identified and characterized Delftibactin and sequenced the genes responsible for its production. They believed Delftibactin could have applications in the cleanup of toxic heavy metal’s solution from gold mines and other sites of mining.According to researcher Delftibactin is equivalent to compounds that fungi, bacteria and some plants use to extract iron and other essential metals from solution for their growth.

According to scientist Delftibactin and related molecules will be part of future health care products that have major impact on human health.