Journal article

Mercury methylation by metabolically versatile and cosmopolitan marine bacteria

Heyu Lin, David Ascher, Yoochan Myung, Carl Lamborg, Steven Hallam, Caitlin Gionfriddo, Kathryn Holt, John Moreau

Published : 2020

Abstract

Microbes transform aqueous mercury (Hg) into methylmercury (MeHg), a potent neurotoxin in terrestrial and marine food webs. This process requires the gene pair hgcAB , which encodes for proteins that actuate Hg methylation, and has been well described for anoxic environments. However, recent studies report potential MeHg formation in suboxic seawater, although the microorganisms involved remain poorly understood. In this study, we conducted large-scale multi-omic analyses to search for putative microbial Hg methylators along defined redox gradients in Saanich Inlet (SI), British Columbia, a model natural ecosystem with previously measured Hg and MeHg concentration profiles. Analysis of gene ..

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