Isolation of a Sulfur-oxidizing Bacterium That can Grow under Alkaline pH, from Corroded Concrete

Terunobu Maeda, Atsunori Negishi, Yuko Oshima, Yasuo Nogami, Kazuo Kamimura, Tsuyoshi Sugio

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    To study the early stages of concrete corrosion by bacteria, sulfur-oxidizing bacterium strain RO-1, which grows in an alkaline thiosulfate medium (pH 10.0) was isolated from corroded concreate and characterized. Strain RO-1 was a Gram negative, rod-shaped bacterium (0.5-0.6×0.9-1.5 μm). The mean G+C content of the DNA of strain RO-1 was 65.0 mol%. Optimum pH and temperature for growth were 8.0. and 30-37°C, respectively. When grown in thiosulfate medium with pH 10.0, growth rate of the strain was 48% of that observed at the optimum pH for growth. Strain RO-1 used sulfide, thiosulfate, and glucose, but not elemental sulfur or tetrathionate, as a sole energy source. Strain RO-1 grew under anaerobic conditions in pepton-NO3 medium containing sodium nitrate as an electron acceptor, and had enzyme activities that oxidized sulfide, elemental sulfur, thiosulfate, sulfite, and glucose, but not tetrathionate. The bacterium had an activity to assimilate 14CO2 into the cells when thiosulfate was used as an energy source. These results suggest that strain RO-1 is Thiobacillus versutus. Strain RO-1 exuded Ca2+ from concrete blocks added to thiosulfate medium with pH 9.0 and the pH of the medium decreased from 9.0 to 5.5 after 22 days of cultivation. In contrast, Thiobacillus thiooxidans strain NB1-3 could not exude Ca2+ in the same thiosulfate medium, suggesting that strain RO-1, but not T. thiooxidans NB1-3, is involved in the early stage of concrete corrosion because concrete structures just after construction contain calcium hydroxide and have a pH of 12-13.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1087-1092
    Number of pages6
    JournalBioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1998


    • Corroded concrete
    • Sulfur-oxidizing bacterium
    • Thiobacillus versutus

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Biotechnology
    • Analytical Chemistry
    • Biochemistry
    • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
    • Molecular Biology
    • Organic Chemistry


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