A closed chlor-alkali plant (CAP) discharged Hg for decades into the Aussa River, which flows into Marano Lagoon, resulting in the large-scale pollution of the lagoon. In order to get information on the role of bacteria as mercury detoxifying agents, analyses of anions in the superficial part (0-1 cm) of sediments were conducted at four stations in the Aussa River. In addition, measurements of biopolymeric carbon (BPC) as a sum of the carbon equivalent of proteins (PRT), lipids (LIP), and carbohydrates (CHO) were performed to correlate with bacterial biomass such as the number of aerobic heterotrophic cultivable bacteria and their percentage of Hg-resistant bacteria. All these parameters were used to assess the bioavailable Hg fraction in sediments and the potential detoxification activity of bacteria. In addition, fifteen isolates were characterized by a combination of molecular techniques, which permitted their assignment into six different genera. Four out of fifteen were Gram negative with two strains of Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, one Enterobacter sp., and one strain of Brevibacterium frigoritolerans. The remaining strains (11) were Gram positive belonging to the genera Bacillus and Staphylococcus. We found merA genes in only a few isolates. Mercury volatilization from added HgCl 2 and the presence of plasmids with the merA gene were also used to confirm Hg reductase activity. We found the highest number of aerobic heterotrophic Hg-resistant bacteria (one order magnitude higher) and the highest number of Hg-resistant species (11 species out of 15) at the confluence of the River Aussa and Banduzzi's channel, which transport Hg from the CAP, suggesting that Hg is strongly detoxified [reduced to Hg(0)] at this location. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
|Data di pubblicazione:||2012|
|Titolo:||Chlor-alkali plant contamination of Aussa River sediments induced a largeHg-resistant bacterial community|
|Rivista:||ESTUARINE, COASTAL AND SHELF SCIENCE|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2012.04.017|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||2.1 Articolo su rivista |
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