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Environ Sci Technol. 2004 Mar 1;38(5):1455-9.

Time-resolved laser fluorescence spectroscopy study on the interaction of curium(III) with Desulfovibrio äspöensis DSM 10631T.

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Institut für Radiochemie, Forschungszentrum Rossendorf e.V., P.O. Box 510119, D-01314 Dresden, Germany.


The influence of microorganisms on migration processes of actinides has to be taken into account for the risk assessment of potential high-level nuclear waste disposal sites. Therefore it is necessary to characterize the actinide-bacteria species formed and to elucidate the reaction mechanisms involved. This work is focused on the sulfate-reducing bacterial (SRB) strain Desulfovibrio äspöensis (D. äspöensis) DSM 10631T which frequently occurs in the deep granitic rock aquifers at the Aspö Hard Rock Laboratory (Aspö HRL), Sweden. We chose Cm(III) due to its high fluorescence spectroscopic sensitivity as a model system for exploring the interactions of trivalent actinides with D. äspöensis in the trace concentration range of 3 x 10(-7) mol/L. A time-resolved laser fluorescence spectroscopy (TRLFS) study has been carried out in the pH range from 3.00 to 7.55 in 0.154 mol/L NaCl. We interpret the pH dependence of the emission spectra with a biosorption forming an inner-sphere surface complex of Cm(III) onto the D. äspöensis cell envelope. This Cm(III)-D. äspöensis-surface complex is characterized by its emission spectrum (peak maximum at 600.1 nm) and its fluorescence lifetime (162 +/- 5 micros). No evidence was found for incorporation of Cm(III) into the bacterial cells under the chosen experimental conditions.

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