Bacterial growth, morphology, and cell component changes in Herbaspirillum sp. WT00C exposed to high concentration of selenate.

Author(s) Chen, C.; Tian, J.; Zhou, J.; Ni, X.; Lei, J.; Wang, X.
Journal J Basic Microbiol
Date Published 2020 Apr

Selenium (Se) is a nonmetallic element of the chalcogens. It is primarily available in natural environments as selenate and selenite oxoanions. Although selenate/selenite reduction in many microbes is widely studied at low concentrations (<50 mM), the effects of high selenate stress on bacterial growth, morphology, and cell components have not yet been studied. In this study, the response of Herbaspirillum sp. WT00C to selenate stress at high concentration is investigated by microbiological and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) techniques as well as proteomic analysis. Bacterial growth was seriously inhibited under high selenate concentrations and its growth-inhibitory phase was prolonged with the increase of selenate concentrations. More interestingly, this bacterium was able to recover its growth even if the selenate concentration was up to 400 mM. Its growth inhibition period shortened to 6 h when the bacterium growing in 200 mM selenate for 28 h was reinoculated to the Luria-Bertani medium containing 200 mM selenate. The high concentration of selenate also induces marked changes in the cell dimension and surface roughness, as revealed by SEM, along with compositional changes in the cell wall shown by proteomic analysis. The bacterial growth inhibition results from the marked downregulation of the α-subunit of DNA polymerase III and RNA helicase, whereas its growth recovery is related to its high antioxidative activities. More NADPH synthesis and the upregulation of thioredoxin reductase and GPx are beneficial for Herbaspirillum sp. WT00C to establish and maintain a balance between oxidant and antioxidant intracellular systems for defending selenate toxicity. This study is an important contribution to understanding why Herbaspirillum sp. WT00C survives in a high concentration of selenate and how the bacterial cells respond physiologically to selenate stress at high concentration.

DOI 10.1002/jobm.201900586
ISSN 1521-4028
Citation J Basic Microbiol. 2020;60(4):304321.

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