Bacteria silver lined

The synthesis of silver crystals by a bacterial strain, Pseudomonas stutzeri, originally isolated from a silver mine has been reported (Pro. Nat’l Acad. Sci. 96, 13611-13614, 1999). Tanya Klaus found that by culturing the bacteria in the presence of high concentrations of silver salts, they could create crystals of well-defined compositions and shapes in the region surrounding the plasma membrane. The 200 nm size of the crystals suggests that they might eventually be used for the formation of thin metal films to absorb solar energy or to construct nanometer scale materials with unique optical and electrical properties useful in microelectronic applications.

Nature Biotechnology, January. 2000