Acid-base properties of cyanobacterial surfaces I: Influences of growth phase and nitrogen metabolism on cell surface reactivity

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  • Significant efforts have been made to elucidate the chemical properties of bacterial surfaces for the purposes of refining surface complexation models that can account for their metal sorptive behavior under diverse conditions. However, the influence of culturing conditions on surface chemical parameters that are modeled from the potentiometric titration of bacterial surfaces has received little regard. While culture age and metabolic pathway have been considered as factors potentially influencing cell surface reactivity, statistical treatments have been incomplete and variability has remained unconfirmed. In this study, we employ potentiometric titrations to evaluate variations in bacterial surface ligand distributions using live cells of the sheathless cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120, grown under a variety of batch culture conditions. We evaluate the ability for a single set of modeled parameters, describing acid–base surface properties averaged over all culture conditions tested, to accurately account for the ligand distributions modeled for each individual culture condition. In addition to considering growth phase, we assess the role of the various assimilatory nitrogen metabolisms available to this organism as potential determinants of surface reactivity. We observe statistically significant variability in site distribution between the majority of conditions assessed. By employing post hoc Tukey–Kramer analysis for all possible pair-wise condition comparisons, we conclude that the average parameters are inadequate for the accurate chemical description of this cyanobacterial surface. It was determined that for this Gram-negative bacterium in batch culture, ligand distributions were influenced to a greater extent by nitrogen assimilation pathway than by growth phase.

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    Article (Published)
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    Crown copyright © 2007 Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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    • SV Lalonde, DS Smith, GW Owttrim and KO Konhauser. "Acid-base properties of cyanobacterial surfaces I: Influences of growth phase and nitrogen metabolism on cell surface reactivity." Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 72 (2008): 1257-1268.