Marano and Grado lagoons are polluted by mercury from the Isonzo River and a chlor-alkali plant, yet despite this contamination, clam cultivation is one of the main activities in the region. Four stations (MA, MB, MC and GD) were chosen for clam seeding and surficial sediments were monitored in autumn, winter and summer to determine the Hg detoxifying role of bacteria. Biotransformation of Hg species in surficial sediments of Marano and Grado lagoons was investigated while taking into consideration the speciation of organic matter in the biochemical classes of PRT (proteins), CHO (carbohydrates) and LIP (lipids), water-washed cations and anions, bacterial biomass, Hg-resistant bacteria, some specific microbial activities such as sulfate reduction rates, Hg methylation rates, Hg-demethylation rates, and enzymatic ionic Hg reduction. MeHg in sediments was well correlated with PRT content, whereas total Hg in sediments correlated with numbers of Hg-resistant bacteria. Correlations of the latter with Hg-demethylation rates in autumn and winter suggested a direct role Hg-resistant bacteria in Hg detoxification by producing elemental Hg (Hg 0) from ionic Hg and probably also from MeHg. MeHg-demethylation rates were ∼10 times higher than Hg methylation rates, were highest in summer and correlated with high sulfate reduction rates indicating that MeHg was probably degraded in summer by sulfate-reducing bacteria via an oxidative pathway. During the summer period, aerobic heterotrophic Hg-resistant bacteria decreased to <2% compared to 53% in winter. Four Hg-resistant bacterial strains were isolated, two Gram-positive (Staphylococcus and Bacillus) and two Gram-negative (Stenotrophomonas and Pseudomonas). Two were able to produce Hg 0, but just one contained a merA gene; while other two strains did not produce Hg 0 even though they were able to grow at 5μgml of HgCl 2. Lagoon sediments support a strong sulfur cycle in summer that controls Hg methylation and demethylation. However, during winter, Hg-resistant bacteria that are capable of degrading MeHg via the mer-catalyzed reductive pathway increase in importance. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
|Data di pubblicazione:||2012|
|Titolo:||Seasonal mercury transformation and surficial sediment detoxification by bacteria of Marano and Grado lagoons|
|Rivista:||ESTUARINE, COASTAL AND SHELF SCIENCE|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2012.02.008|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||2.1 Articolo su rivista |
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