Growth in sulfidic mineral environments: metal resistance mechanisms in acidophilic micro-organisms

Microbiology (Reading). 2003 Aug;149(Pt 8):1959-1970. doi: 10.1099/mic.0.26296-0.


Acidophilic micro-organisms inhabit some of the most metal-rich environments known, including both natural and man-made ecosystems, and as such are ideal model systems for study of microbial metal resistance. Although metal resistance systems have been studied in neutrophilic micro-organisms, it is only in recent years that attention has been placed on metal resistance in acidophiles. The five metal resistance mechanisms identified in neutrophiles are also present in acidophiles, in some cases utilizing homologous proteins, but in many cases the degree of resistance is greater in acidophiles. This review summarizes the knowledge of acidophile metal resistance and presents preliminary in silico studies on a few known metal resistance systems in the sequenced acidophile genomes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Archaea / drug effects*
  • Archaea / genetics
  • Archaea / growth & development
  • Archaea / metabolism
  • Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Bacteria / genetics
  • Bacteria / growth & development
  • Bacteria / metabolism
  • Drug Resistance
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial
  • Environmental Pollutants / toxicity
  • Genes, Archaeal
  • Genes, Bacterial
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Metals, Heavy / toxicity*
  • Models, Biological
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Sulfides / metabolism


  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Metals, Heavy
  • Sulfides