Title: Enhanced availability of mercury bound to dissolved organic matter for methylation in marine sediments.
Authors: Mazrui, Nashaat M; Jonsson, Sofi; Thota, Sravan; Zhao, Jing; Mason, Robert P
Published In Geochim Cosmochim Acta, (2016 Dec 01)
Abstract: The forms of inorganic mercury (HgII) taken up and methylated by bacteria in sediments still remain largely unknown. From pure cultures studies, it has been suggested that dissolved organic matter (DOM) may facilitate the uptake either by acting as a shuttle molecule, transporting the HgII atom to divalent metal transporters, or by binding HgII and then being transported into the cell as a carbon source. Enhanced availability of Hg complexed to DOM has however not yet been demonstrated in natural systems. Here, we show that HgII complexed with DOM of marine origin was up to 2.7 times more available for methylation in sediments than HgII added as a dissolved inorganic complex (HgII(aq)). We argue that the DOM used to complex HgII directly facilitated the bacterial uptake of HgII whereas the inorganic dissolved HgII-complex adsorbed to the sediment matrix before forming bioavailable dissolved HgII complexes. We further demonstrate that differences in net methylation in sediments with high and low organic carbon content may be explained by differences in the availability of carbon to stimulate the activity of Hg methylating bacteria rather than, as previously proposed, be due to differences in HgII binding capacities between sediments.
PubMed ID: 28127088
MeSH Terms: No MeSH terms associated with this publication