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Tolerance, Adaptation, and Cell Response Elicited by Micromonospora sp. Facing Tellurite Toxicity: A Biological and Physical-Chemical Characterization

  • Autori: Piacenza E.; Campora S.; Carfì Pavia F.; Chillura Martino D.F.; Laudicina V.A.; Alduina R.; Turner R.J.; Zannoni D.; Presentato A.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2022
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista
  • Parole Chiave: bacterial cell membrane; cell morphology changes; fatty acids; FTIR spectroscopy; heavy metals; multivariate statistical analysis; oxidative stress; tellurite
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The intense use of tellurium (Te) in industrial applications, along with the improper disposal of Te-derivatives, is causing their accumulation in the environment, where oxyanion tellurite (TeO32−) is the most soluble, bioavailable, and toxic Te-species. On the other hand, tellurium is a rare metalloid element whose natural supply will end shortly with possible economic and technological effects. Thus, Te-containing waste represents the source from which Te should be recycled and recovered. Among the explored strategies, the microbial TeO32− biotransformation into less toxic Te-species is the most appropriate concerning the circular economy. Actinomycetes are ideal candidates in environmental biotechnology. However, their exploration in TeO32− biotransformation is scarce due to limited knowledge regarding oxyanion microbial processing. Here, this gap was filled by investigating the cell tolerance, adaptation, and response to TeO32− of a Micromonospora strain isolated from a metal(loid)-rich environment. To this aim, an integrated biological, physical-chemical, and statistical approach combining physiological and biochemical assays with confocal or scanning electron (SEM) microscopy and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy in attenuated total reflectance mode (ATR-FTIR) was designed. Micromonospora cells exposed to TeO32− under different physiological states revealed a series of striking cell responses, such as cell morphology changes, extracellular polymeric substance production, cell membrane damages and modifications, oxidative stress burst, protein aggregation and phosphorylation, and superoxide dismutase induction. These results highlight this Micromonospora strain as an asset for biotechnological purposes.