Environmental Biogeochemistry

Microbial Community Acquisition of Nutrients from Mineral Surfaces

Faculty Member: Dr. John Little

PIs: Dr. Hochella, Dr. Berry, Dr. Eick, Dr. Little and Dr. Potts

We are investigating fundamental interactions between microbes and mineral surfaces to determine what strategies microorganisms use to acquire phosphate bound to mineral surfaces, either as single species or in consortia. Do they optimize their uptake system(s) for limiting nutrients, or is nutrient uptake driven by passive diffusion through the microbial boundary layer? Do microorganisms actively utilize strategies which maximize their proximity to nutrient loaded surfaces via aggregation, or can they enhance bioavailability of phosphate by shifting the equilibrium position of the nutrient-surface complexation reaction