Journal of Hazardous Materials, Vol.373, 243-249, 2019
Bio-oxidation of elemental mercury during growth of mercury resistant yeasts in simulated hydrosphere
Transformation of metallic mercury (Hg degrees) to mercuric ion (Hg2+) in hydrosphere is the entrance of mercury cycle in water environments and leads to toxicological impact of serious global concern. Two yeast strains of Yarrowia (Idd1 and Idd2) isolated from Hg-contaminated sediments were studied for their mediating role in Hg degrees dissolution and oxidation. Growth of the Yarrowia cells in Hg-free liquid medium, incubated for 5 d in closed airtight systems containing Hg degrees, produced extracellular polymeric substances (EPS). Approximately 230 (+/- 5.7) ng and 120 (+/- 6.8) ng of the dissolved Hg degrees were oxidized to Hg2+ by the cultures of Idd1 and Idd2, respectively, 5 day post-inoculation. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and X-ray energy dispersive spectrophotometry (XEDS) analysis of the EPS and cell mass revealed the presence of extracellular Hg nanoparticles, presumably HgS, as an indication of EPS-Hg complexation that is useful for Hg degrees dissolution and its eventual oxidation to Hg2+ by the cells. Fourier transmission infra-red (FTIR) analyses of the EPS and cell-mass during Hg-oxidation revealed that amine and carbonyl groups were used by EPS for Hg complexation. Our findings provided information about mediatory role played by Yarrowia (Idd1 and Idd2) in hydrosphere in biogeochemical cycling of Hg.