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Molecular characterization of acutely and gradually heavy metal acclimated aquatic bacteria by FTIR spectraoscopy

2019-05-01
Kepenek, Eda S.
Gözen, Ayşe Gül
Severcan, Feride
In the environment, bacteria can be exposed to the concentration gradient of toxic heavy metals (gradual) or sudden high concentration of them (acute). In both situations, bacteria get acclimated to toxic heavy metal concentrations. Acclimation causes metabolic and molecular changes in bacteria. In this study, we aimed to understand whether there are differences between molecular profiles of the bacteria (Brevundimonas, Gordonia and Microbacterium) which are under acute or gradual exposure to cadmium or lead by using ATR-FTIR spectroscopy. Our results revealed the differences between the acclimation groups in membrane dynamics including changes in the structure and composition of the membrane lipids and proteins. Furthermore, protein concentrations decreased in acclimated bacterial groups. Also, a remarkable increase in exopolymer production occurred in acclimated groups. Interestingly, bacteria under acute cadmium exposure produced the significantly higher amount of exopolymer than they did under gradual exposure. On the contrary, under lead exposure gradually acclimate strains produced significantly higher amounts of exopolymer than those of acutely acclimated ones. This information can be used in bioremediation studies to obtain bacterial strains producing a higher amount of exopolymer.