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Evidence for fungi and gold redox interaction under Earth surface conditions

Bohu, T., Anand, R., Noble, R., Lintern, M., Kaksonen, A.H., Mei, Y., Cheng, K.Y., Deng, X., Veder, J-P, Bunce, M., Power, M. and Verrall, M. (2019) Evidence for fungi and gold redox interaction under Earth surface conditions. Nature Communications, 10 (1).

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Microbial contribution to gold biogeochemical cycling has been proposed. However, studies have focused primarily on the influence of prokaryotes on gold reduction and precipitation through a detoxification-oriented mechanism. Here we show, fungi, a major driver of mineral bioweathering, can initiate gold oxidation under Earth surface conditions, which is of significance for dissolved gold species formation and distribution. Presence of the gold-oxidizing fungus TA_pink1, an isolate of Fusarium oxysporum, suggests fungi have the potential to substantially impact gold biogeochemical cycling. Our data further reveal that indigenous fungal diversity positively correlates with in situ gold concentrations. Hypocreales, the order of the gold-oxidizing fungus, show the highest centrality in the fungal microbiome of the auriferous environment. Therefore, we argue that the redox interaction between fungi and gold is critical and should be considered in gold biogeochemical cycling.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Engineering and Information Technology
Publisher: Nature Research
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