Ji Dong Gu, Ralph Mitchell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Bacteria were the first life forms to appear on Earth, and they have a long history of association with mineral surfaces. Surfaces of clay minerals played an important role in the initial evolutionary processes of bacteria and the diversification of their physiology (Kluyver and van Niel 1956; Mayr 1998; Wächtershäuser 1988; Woese 1987, 1990, 1998; Woese and Olsen 1986). Bacteria also adapt themselves to a mode of living on physical surfaces and at interfaces (Angles et al. 1993; Bitton 1980; Brune et al. 2000; Caldwell et al. 1997; Fenchel and Finlay 1995; Fletcher 1980; Glagolev 1984; Hugenholtz et al. 1998; Margulis 1981; Marshall 1992; Moat and Foster 1988; Pace 1997; Wolfaardt et al. 1994; Zavarzin et al. 1994; Zinder 1993). In addition, they are capable of degrading a wide range of pollutants (Gibson 1984; Gu and Berry 1991, 1992; Gu et al. 1992a; Young and Cerniglia 1995). It is well recognized that degradation of organic chemicals and nutrient cycling are more rapid on surfaces. Unfortunately, microbial association with surfaces also has a potential negative economic impact, when it accelerates degradation and deterioration of a wide range of materials, including inorganic minerals (Gu et al. 2000b; Mitchell and Gu 2000), concrete, and stone (Gebers and Hirsch 1978; Gu et al. 2000b; Moosavi et al. 1986; Padival et al. 1995; Piervittori et al. 1994; Prieto et al. 1995); metals (Ford and Mitchell 1990b; Gu et al. 2000a; Miller 1970); and natural and synthetic polymers (Gu et al. 2000d; Guezennec et al. 1998; Swift et al. 1979). In all cases, the essential ingredient is the close association between the microflora and the material surface.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Prokaryotes
Subtitle of host publicationApplied Bacteriology and Biotechnology
PublisherSpringer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
Number of pages33
ISBN (Electronic)9783642313318
ISBN (Print)3642313329, 9783642313301
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes


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