Journal article

Effects of Cellular Sorption on Mercury Bioavailability and Methylmercury Production by Desulfovibrio desulfuricans ND132

Yu-Rong Liu, Xia Lu, Linduo Zhao, Jing An, Ji-Zheng He, Eric M Pierce, Alexander Johs, Baohua Gu



Microbial conversion of inorganic mercury (IHg) to methylmercury (MeHg) is a significant environmental concern because of the bioaccumulation and biomagnification of toxic MeHg in the food web. Laboratory incubation studies have shown that, despite the presence of large quantities of IHg in cell cultures, MeHg biosynthesis often reaches a plateau or a maximum within hours or a day by an as yet unexplained mechanism. Here we report that mercuric Hg(II) can be taken up rapidly by cells of Desulfovibrio desulfuricans ND132, but a large fraction of the Hg(II) is unavailable for methylation because of strong cellular sorption. Thiols, such as cysteine, glutathione, and penicillamine, added either..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by DOE

Funding Acknowledgements

We thank Xiangping Yin for her assistance with the mercury and methylmercury analyses. This research was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science, Office of Biological and Environmental Research, as part of the Mercury Science Focus Area at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), which is managed by UT-Battelle, LLC under Contract No. DE-AC05-00OR22725 with DOE. The United States Government retains and the publisher, by accepting the article for publication, acknowledges that the United States Government retains a nonexclusive, paid-up, irrevocable, worldwide license to publish or reproduce the published form of this manuscript, or allow others to do so, for United States Government purposes. DOE will provide public access to these results of federally sponsored research in accordance with the DOE Public Access Plan ( Y.L. was supported in part by the Chinese Scholarship Council (CSC) of China.