1887

Abstract

Tellurium oxyanions are chemical species of great toxicity and their presence in the environment has increased because of mining industries and photovoltaic and electronic waste. Recovery strategies for this metalloid that are based on micro-organisms are of interest, but further studies of the transport systems and enzymes responsible for implementing tellurium transformations are required because many mechanisms remain unknown. Here, we investigated the involvement in tellurite uptake of the putative phosphate transporter PitB (PP1373) in soil bacterium KT2440. For this purpose, through a method based on the CRISPR/Cas9 system, we generated a strain deficient in the gene and characterized its phenotype on exposing it to varied concentrations of tellurite. Growth curves and transmission electronic microscopy experiments for the wild-type and Δ strains showed that both were able to internalize tellurite into the cytoplasm and reduce the oxyanion to black nano-sized and rod-shaped tellurium particles, although the Δ strain showed an increased resistance to the tellurite toxic effects. At a concentration of 100 μM tellurite, where the biomass formation of the wild-type strain decreased by half, we observed a greater ability of Δ to reduce this oxyanion with respect to the wild-type strain (~38 vs ~16 %), which is related to the greater biomass production of Δ and not to a greater consumption of tellurite per cell. The phenotype of the mutant was restored on over-expressing . In summary, our results indicate that PitB is one of several transporters responsible for tellurite uptake in KT2440.

Funding
This study was supported by the:
  • Vicerrectoría de Investigación, Universidad de Costa Rica (Award 809-B7-A43)
    • Principle Award Recipient: MaxChavarría
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/content/journal/micro/10.1099/mic.0.001002
2020-12-21
2021-07-29
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