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Main Title Relationships of Hg(II) Volatilization from a Freshwater Pond to the Abundance of 'mer' Genes in the Gene Pool of the Indigenous Microbial Community.
Author Barkay, T. ; Turner, R. R. ; VandenBrook, A. ; Liebert., C. ;
CORP Author Environmental Research Lab., Narragansett, RI. ;Oak Ridge National Lab., TN. Environmental Sciences Div. ;Technical Resources, Inc., Gulf Breeze, FL.;Department of Energy, Washington, DC.
Publisher c1991
Year Published 1991
Report Number EPA/600/J-91/330; DE-AC05-84OR21400;
Stock Number PB92-129675
Additional Subjects Mercury ; Aquatic microbiology ; Bacterial genes ; Fresh water ; Volatilization ; Chemical water pollutants ; Autoradiography ; Nucleic acid hybridization ; DNA insertion elements ; Reprints ; Mercuric reductase
Library Call Number Additional Info Location Last
NTIS  PB92-129675 Some EPA libraries have a fiche copy filed under the call number shown. 07/26/2022
Collation 13p
The role of biological activities in the reduction and volatilization of Hg(II) from a polluted pond was investigated. Elemental mercury was evolved from pond water immediately following spiking with (203) Hg(NO3)2, whereas an acclimation period of 36 hours was required in control samples collected from a nearby, unpolluted river before onset of volatilization. Genes encoding the bacterial mercuric reductase enzyme (mer genes) were abundant in DNA fractions extracted from biomass of the pond microbial community, but not in samples extracted from control communities. Thus, evolution of Hg(sup 0) was probably due to activities mediated by the bacterial mercuric reductase. Of four characterized mer operons, the system encoded by transposon 501 (mer(Tn501)) dominated and likely contributed to the majority of the observed Hg(II) volatilization. Thus, mer-mediated reduction and volatilization could be used to reduce Hg(II) concentrations in polluted waters, in turn decreasing rates of methylmercury formation by limiting substrate availability. (Copyright (c) Springer-Verlag New Yyork Inc. 1991.)