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Diversity of Sporosarcina-like Bacterial Strains Obtained from Meter-Scale Augmented and Stimulated Biocementation Experiments

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journal contribution
posted on 05.03.2018, 00:00 by Charles M. R. Graddy, Michael G. Gomez, Lindsay M. Kline, Sydney R. Morrill, Jason T. DeJong, Douglas C. Nelson
Microbially Induced Calcite Precipitation (MICP) is a biomediated soil cementation process that offers an environmentally conscious alternative to conventional geotechnical soil improvement technologies. This study provides the first comparison of ureolytic bacteria isolated from sand cemented in parallel, meter-scale, MICP experiments using either biostimulation or bioaugmentation approaches, wherein colonies resembling the augmented strain (Sporosarcina pasteurii ATCC 11859) were interrogated. Over the 13 day experiment, 47 of the 57 isolates collected were strains of Sporosarcina and the diversity of these strains was high, with 20 distinct strains belonging to 5 species identified. Although the S. pasteurii inoculant used for augmentation was recovered immediately after introduction in the augmented specimen, the strain was not recovered after 8 days in either augmented or stimulated soils, suggesting that it competes poorly with indigenous bacteria. Past studies on the physiological properties of S. pasteurii ATCC 11859 suggest that close relatives may have selective advantages under the biogeochemical conditions employed during MICP; however, the extent to which these properties apply to isolates of the current study is unknown. Whole cell urease kinetic properties were investigated for representative isolates and suggest up to 100-fold higher rates of carbonate production when compared to other biomediated processes proposed for MICP.