Copper shale as archive and resource for microbial extremophiles

The organic rich copper shale has been an important resource for economic development of Central Europe since the copper age. The heavy metal containing, organic-rich shale triggers the development of microorganisms on stone surfaces and in its matrix. In a metagenomic approach, we will analyze diversity of pro- and eukaryotic communities living associated with these rocks and elucidate key processes involved in extremophily of the organisms, resistance against high metal concentration and activity of mineral mobilization. Results will not only show an insight into a deep biosphere habitat but may also give implications to mine waste treatment and bioremediation.

Figure 4 Hoppert

Figure 4. Bacterial enrichments from coppermine pits may reveal metal-tolerant organisms.


Reference                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Wilke et al., 2015 Geomicrobiology J. 32: 380-393.