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Arch Microbiol. 2000 Sep;174(3):175-80.

Mercury uptake and removal by Euglena gracilis.

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1
Departamento de Bioquímica, Instituto Nacional de Cardiología, México. sdevars@hotmail.com

Abstract

The uptake and removal of mercury (added as HgCl2) from the culture medium by Euglena gracilis was studied. In cultures initiated in the light, cells accumulated a small fraction of the added heavy metal (5-13%). Mercury was both biologically and nonbiologically volatilized, and cell growth was partially inhibited; under these conditions the glutathione content was 3.2 nmol/10(6) cells. In contrast, in cultures initiated in the dark, mercury uptake by cells was two to three times higher, biological volatilization remained unchanged and nonbiological volatilization and growth were negligible; the glutathione content diminished to 1.4 nmol/10(6) cells. Biological mercury volatilization depended on cell density and metal concentration, but was light-independent. Thus, volatilization of mercury by Euglena appeared not to be an effective mechanism of resistance, whereas a high intracellular level of glutathione and a low mercury uptake seemed necessary for successful tolerance.

PMID:
11041348
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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