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Dissolution of Potassium from Silicate Mineral by Aspergillus strain

Author Affiliations

  • 1Department of Microbiology and Biotechnology, University School of Sciences, Gujarat University, Ahmedabad 380009., Gujarat, India
  • 2Department of Microbiology and Biotechnology, University School of Sciences, Gujarat University, Ahmedabad 380009., Gujarat, India
  • 3Department of Microbiology and Biotechnology, University School of Sciences, Gujarat University, Ahmedabad 380009., Gujarat, India
  • 4Department of Microbiology and Biotechnology, University School of Sciences, Gujarat University, Ahmedabad 380009., Gujarat, India

Int. Res. J. Environment Sci., Volume 5, Issue (2), Pages 63-66, February,22 (2016)


Potassium (K) is the third most important macronutrient for plant growth and development. It is an essential nutrient of life on earth. It plays very important role in physiological and biochemical processes but the concentration of available potassium is very low below 2%. Soil of many areas of India have shown K deficiency .Agricultural practices, water runoff, erosion and leaching reduces the K availability in soil. In India resources of mineral particularly insoluble potassium are present in huge amount so they can be utilized as K fertilizer by application to the agricultural area. As a conventional process such as roasting, smelting etc involve high energy consumption and causes pollution. Biohydrometallurgy:bioleaching is emerging a natural choice for extraction of metals from minerals. The aim of the study was to isolate K solubilizing fungi, for which various rhizospheric soil samples were collected. From these samples total 25 fungal isolates were obtained, which were screened for K solubilization on Aleksandrov agar plates. Out of these, Isolate SDS7, an Aspergillus strain, showed zone of solubilization of 15 mm was selected. Parameter such as particle size of the mineral, pulp using particle of <44 µm size resulted in 28 ppm solubilization after 21 days of incubation. When pulp density was increased from 0.5% (w/v) to 0.8% (w/v) to 1% (w/v) gave 42 ppm and 53 ppm solubilization in 21 days at pH 6 with 10×107 spores / ml inoculum size. Qualitative and quantitative essay of organic acid detection was carried out by standard method showed maximum production of citric and tartaric acid which could be responsible for the K solubilization.


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