Journal Article

Accumulation of Fe, Cr and Ni Metals inside Cells of Acidophilic Bacterium <i>Acidiphilium rubrum</i> that Produces Zn-Containing Bacteriochlorophyll <i>a</i>

Shigeru Itoh, Masayo Iwaki, Norio Wakao, Ken Yoshizu, Ayumi Aoki and Kazue Tazaki

in Plant and Cell Physiology

Published on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists

Volume 39, issue 7, pages 740-744
Published in print July 1998 | ISSN: 0032-0781
Published online July 1998 | e-ISSN: 1471-9053 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordjournals.pcp.a029428
Accumulation of Fe, Cr and Ni Metals inside Cells of Acidophilic Bacterium Acidiphilium rubrum that Produces Zn-Containing Bacteriochlorophyll a

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The accumulations of metals were studied in cells of aerobic acidophilic proteobacterium Acidiphilium rubrum; this spices uses Zn, instead of Mg as the central atom of bacteriochlorophyll in its photosynthetic apparatus. Energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX) of the cell surfaces gave peaks of P, S, Si and Mg. Transmission electron micrograph images showed a high density globule of 0.11μm in diameter in each 1.1 × 0.3μm cell. An EDX analysis of the black precipitate that was collected after the centrifuga-tion of disrupted cells showed high amounts of the heavy metals Fe, Cr, Ni and traces of K, Ca, P, Si and Al in the order of atomic content. An X-ray powder diffraction analysis indicated that Fe, Cr and Ni exist as alloys. The metal accumulations interpret the high tolerance of this bacterium to the toxic heavy metals abundant in acidic growth medium. Zn seems to specifically exist as Zn-bacteriochlo-rophyll a in this organism, because no significant accumulation of Zn was detected on the cell surface, black precipitate, or cytoplasmic membranes.

Keywords: Acid tolerance; Bacteriochlorophyll; Bio-mineralization; Electron microscopy; Heavy metal; Photosynthetic bacteria

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Subjects: Biochemistry ; Molecular and Cell Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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