Zinc toxicity stimulates microbial production of extracellular polymers in a copiotrophic acid soil

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Redmile-Gordon, M. A. and Chen, L. 2017. Zinc toxicity stimulates microbial production of extracellular polymers in a copiotrophic acid soil. International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation. 119 (April), pp. 413-418.

AuthorsRedmile-Gordon, M. A. and Chen, L.
Abstract

The production of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) is crucial for biofilm structure, microbial nutrition and proximal stability of habitat in a variety of environments. However, the production patterns of microbial EPS in soils as affected by heavy metal contamination remain uncertain. Here we investigate the extracellular response of the native microbial biomass in a grassland soil treated with refined glycerol or crude unrefined biodiesel co-product (BCP) with and without ZnCl2. We extracted microbial EPS and more readily soluble microbial products (SMP), and quantified total polysaccharide, uronic acid, and protein content in these respective extracts. Organic addition, especially BCP, significantly stimulated the production of EPS-polysaccharide and protein but had no impact on EPS-uronic acids, while in the SMP-fraction, polysaccharides and uronic acids were both significantly increased. In response to the inclusion of Zn2+, both EPS- and SMP-polysaccharides increased. This implies firstly that a tolerance mechanism of soil microorganisms against Zn2+ toxicity exists through the stimulation of SMP and EPS production, and secondly that co-products of biofuel industries may have value-added use in bioremediation efforts to support in-situ production of microbial biopolymers. Microbial films and mobile polymers are likely to impact a range of soil properties. The recent focus on EPS research in soils is anticipated to help contribute an improved understanding of biofilm dynamics in other complex systems - such as continuously operated bioreactors.

Keywordsextracellular polymeric substances; biodiesel co-product; soil biofilms; bioremediation; heavy metal; exudate polysaccharide
Year of Publication2017
JournalInternational Biodeterioration & Biodegradation
Journal citation119 (April), pp. 413-418
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1016/j.ibiod.2016.10.004
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Funder project or codeDelivering Sustainable Systems (SS) [ISPG]
Optimisation of nutrients in soil-plant systems: How can we control nitrogen cycling in soil?
A novel low cost method for reducing nitrate leaching in soil
Publisher's version
Copyright license
CC BY
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online19 Oct 2016
Publication process dates
Accepted03 Oct 2016
ISSN0964-8305
PublisherElsevier Sci Ltd

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