Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 103, Issue 19, pp 7971–7982 | Cite as

Enhanced calcite precipitation for crack healing by bacteria isolated under low-nitrogen conditions

  • Jinlong Zhang
  • Le Xie
  • Xingtao Huang
  • Zhiyong Liang
  • Bing Liu
  • Ningxu Han
  • Feng XingEmail author
  • Xu DengEmail author
Biotechnological products and process engineering


A nitrogen-starving isolation strategy was developed for the first time to screen bacteria with high calcium-precipitating activity (CPA) for bioremediation of damage in porous media. Meanwhile, a novel mini-tube method based on the detection of insoluble Ca2+ was established to evaluate the CPA of the isolates. A low-nitrogen-demanding strain B6, identified as Bacillus sp., was screened to exhibit the highest CPA (55 mM insoluble Ca2+). Furthermore, the effects of environmental factors and nutrient availability on B6-induced calcium precipitation were evaluated. The results show that nitrate and starch are the best nitrogen source and carbon source with optimal concentration being 4 and 2 g L−1, respectively. The suitable pH range for B6 to precipitate calcium is from 8.5 to 10.5. B6 can maintain the highest CPA at an initial spore concentration of 1.0 × 108 spores·mL−1. The optimal CaO2 dosage is 10 g L−1. Finally, the calcite precipitation is confirmed by ESEM, EDS, and XRD analysis.


Low-nitrogen-demanding bacteria Calcium-precipitating activity Self-healing concrete Bacillus sp. Microbially induced calcium carbonate precipitation 


Funding information

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51508338, No. 51578339, No. 51120185002) and the Project of Department of Education of Guangdong Province (No. 2017GKTSCX064).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jinlong Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Le Xie
    • 1
  • Xingtao Huang
    • 1
  • Zhiyong Liang
    • 1
  • Bing Liu
    • 2
    • 4
  • Ningxu Han
    • 2
  • Feng Xing
    • 2
    Email author
  • Xu Deng
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Shenzhen Key Laboratory of Marine Bioresource and Eco-environmental Science, College of Life Sciences and OceanographyShenzhen UniversityShenzhenChina
  2. 2.Guangdong Province Key Laboratory of Durability for Marine Civil Engineering, The Key Laboratory on Durability of Civil Engineering in Shenzhen, College of Civil and Transportation EngineeringShenzhen UniversityShenzhenChina
  3. 3.Key Laboratory of Earthquake Engineering and Engineering Vibration, Institute of Engineering MechanicsChina Earthquake AdministrationHarbinChina
  4. 4.School of Traffic and EnvironmentShenzhen Institute of Information TechnologyShenzhenChina

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