Enhanced Diagnostic Tools
Modern approaches for bioremediation of radionuclide contaminated environments are based on the ability of microorganisms to effectively catalyze changes in the oxidation states of metals that in turn influence their solubility. Although microbial metal reduction has been identified as an effective means for immobilizing highly-soluble uranium(VI) complexes in situ, the biomolecular mechanisms of U(VI) reduction are not well understood. Here, we show that reduction of U(VI) and formation of extracelluar UO cytochrome MtrC (metal reduction), previously implicated in Mn(IV) and Fe(III) reduction, directly transferred electron to U(VI). Additionally, deletions of wild-type MR-1. Similar to the wild-type, the mutants accumulated UO in association with an extracellular polymeric substance (EPS). In wild-type cells, this UO glycocalyx-like properties and contained multiple elements of the OM, polysaccharide, and heme-containing proteins. Using a novel combination of methods including synchrotron-based X-ray fluorescence microscopy and high-resolution immune-electron microscopy, we demonstrate a close association of the extracellular UO OmcA (outer membrane cytochrome). This is the first study to our knowledge to directly localize the OM-associated cytochromes with EPS, which contains biogenic UO nanoparticles with biopolymers may exert a strong influence on subsequent behavior including susceptibility to oxidation by O or transport in soils and sediment.
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