Description: A major challenge for the bioremediation of radionuclides (i.e., uranium, technetium) and metals (i.e., Cr(VI), Hg) is the co-occurrence of nitrate as it can inhibit metal transformation. Denitrification (nitrate reduction to dinitrogen gas) is considered the most important ecological process. For many metal and metalloid reducing bacteria, however, ammonia is the end product through respiratory nitrate reduction (RNRA). The focus of this work was to determine how RNRA impacts Cr(VI) transformation. The goal was to elucidate the specific mechanism(s) that limits Cr(VI) reduction in the presence of nitrate and to use this information to develop strategies that enhance Cr(VI) reduction (and thus detoxification). Our central hypothesis is that nitrate impacts the biotransformation of metals and metalloids in three ways 1) as a competitive alternative electron acceptor (inhibiting transformation), 2) as a co-metabolite (i.e., concomitant reduction, stimulating transformation), and 3) as an inducer of specific proteins and pathways involved in oxidation/reduction reactions (stimulating transformation). We have identified three model organisms, Geobacter metallireducens (mechanism 1), Sulfurospirillum barnesii, (mechasism 2), and Desulfovibrio desulfuricans (mechanisms 3). Our specific aims were to 1) investigate the role of Cr(VI) concentration on the kinetics of both growth and reduction of nitrate, nitrite, and Cr(VI) in these three organisms; 2) develop a profile of bacterial enzymes involved in nitrate transformation (e.g., oxidoreductases) using a proteomic approach; 3) investigate the function of periplasmic nitrite reductase (Nrf) as a chromate reductase; and 4) develop a strategy to maximize microbial chromium reduction in the presence of nitrate. We found that growth on nitrate by G. metallireducens was inhibited by Cr(VI). Over 240 proteins were identified by LC/MS-MS. Redox active proteins, outer membrane heavy metal efflux proteins, and chemotaxis sensory proteins (Gmet_2478 and Gmet_1641) were up-regulated with exposure to Cr(VI). A nine-heme cytochrome C was purified that could reduce nitrite and could ...
Date: June 15, 2011
Creator: Stolz, John F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department