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Can J Microbiol. 1979 Nov;25(11):1252-7.

Differential toxicities of mercury to bacteria and bacteriophages in sea and in lake water.


Mixtures of anionic HgCl3-/HgCl4(2)-complexes were less toxic to terrestrial bacteria (Erwinia herbicola, Agrobacterium tumefaciens), to marine bacteria (Acinetobacter sp., Aeromonas sp.), and to bacteriophages (phi 11 M 15 of Staphylococcus aureus and P1 of Escherichia coli) than were equivalent concentrations of Hg as cationic Hg2+. The toxicity of 1 ppm Hg to A. tumefaciens. Aeromonas sp., and phi 11 M 15 was less in seawater than in lake water. Inasmuch as the Hg-Cl species are formed in environments of high chloride concentration, it was postulated that the lower toxicity of Hg in seawater was a result of the formation of HgCl3-/HgCl4(2)-complexes.

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