Environmental science & technology, 2021
Postdoctoral Research Associate
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
University of Georgia
Goff, J. L., Wang, Y., Boyanov, M., Yu, Q., Kemner, K., Fein, J., & Yee, N. (2021). Tellurite Adsorption onto Bacterial Surfaces. Environmental Science & Technology.
Goff, Jennifer L, Yuwei Wang, M. Boyanov, Qiang Yu, K. Kemner, J. Fein, and N. Yee. “Tellurite Adsorption onto Bacterial Surfaces.” Environmental science & technology (2021).
Goff, Jennifer L., et al. “Tellurite Adsorption onto Bacterial Surfaces.” Environmental Science & Technology, 2021.
Tellurium (Te) is an emerging contaminant and its chemical transformation in the environment is strongly influenced by microbial processes. In this study, we investigated the adsorption of tellurite [Te(IV), TeO32-] onto the common soil bacterium Bacillus subtilis. Thiol-blocking experiments were carried out to investigate the role of cell surface sulfhydryl sites in tellurite binding, and extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) spectroscopy was performed to determine the chemical speciation of the adsorbed tellurite. The results indicate that tellurite reacts with sulfhydryl functional groups in the extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) produced by B. subtilis. Upon binding to sulfhydryl sites in the EPS, the Te changes from Te-O bonds to Te-S coordination. Further analysis of the surface-associated molecules shows that the EPS of B. subtilis contain proteins. Removal of the proteinaceous EPS dramatically decreases tellurite adsorption and the sulfhydryl surface site concentration. These findings indicate that sulfhydryl binding in EPS plays a key role in tellurite adsorption on bacterial surfaces.