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Uranium(VI) interactions with Pseudomonas sp. PS-0-L, V4-5-SB and T5-6-I

Kasko, J.; Li, X.; Müller, K.; Ge, Y.; Vettese, G. F.; Law, G. T. W.; Siitari-Kauppi, M.; Huittinen, N. M.; Raff, J.; Bomberg, M.; Herzig, M.


Pseudomonas sp. are indigenous inhabitants of ombrotrophic bogs which can survive in acidic, nutrient-poor environments with wide temperature fluctuations. Their interactions with contaminant radionuclides can influence radionuclide biogeochemistry in boreal environment. Here, uranium (U(VI)) bioassociation by Pseudomonas sp. PS-0-L, V4-5-SB and T5-6-I isolated from a boreal bog was studied by a combination of batch contact experiments, spectroscopy and microscopy. All strains removed U from the solution and the U bioassociation efficiency was affected by the nutrient source, incubation temperature, time and pH. Highest U bioassociation occurred in the strains PS-0-L (0.199 mg U/gBDW) and V4-5-SB (0.223 mg U/gBDW). Based on in-situ attenuated total reflection Fourier transformation infrared spectroscopy (ATR FT-IR) analyses, the most likely functional groups responsible for U binding were the cell surface carboxyl groups. In addition, transmission electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (TEM/EDX) showed dense intra-cellular round- and needle-like U accumulations in the cytoplasm and near to the inner cell membrane. The presence of U with phosphorus was indicated in elemental mapping. Modelled data showed ≡SOOHx-1 and ≡SOCO2Hx-1 as the dominant surface sites, contributing to the negative cell surface charge. The U removal efficiency depended on the U(VI) speciation under different pH conditions. At pH 5, the main species reacting with bacterial cell surfaces was UO22+, while at pH 9 UO2(OH)2 and UO2(OH)3- dominated the reactions. Further, U bioassociation increased with increasing aqueous U(VI) concentrations. Our data suggests U bioassociation on 1) outer cell membrane/cell wall associated carboxyl groups (e.g., proteins), and 2) intracellular phosphate groups (e.g., phospholipids).

Keywords: bioassociation; biosorption; bioaccumulation; modelling; carboxyl group; phosphate group


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