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TOWARD BIOREMEDIATION OF METHYLMERCURY USING SILICA ENCAPSULATED ESCHERICHIA COLI HARBORING THE MER OPERON
Kane, A.L., B. Al-Shayeb, P.V. Holec, S Rajan, N.E. Le Mieux, S.C. Heinsch, S. Psarska, K.G. Aukema, C.A. Sarkar, E.A. Nater, and J.A. Gralnick
PLoS One 11(1):[0147036](2016)

To facilitate remediation of both organic and inorganic forms of mercury, Escherichia coli were engineered to harbor a subset of genes (merRTPAB) from the mercury resistance operon. Protein products of the mer operon enable transport of mercury into the cell, cleavage of organic C-Hg bonds, and subsequent reduction of ionic mercury to the less toxic elemental form, Hg(0). E. coli containing merRTPAB were then encapsulated in silica beads, resulting in a biological-based filtration material. Performing encapsulation in aerated mineral oil yielded silica beads that were smooth, spherical, and similar in diameter. Following encapsulation, E. coli containing merRTPAB retained the ability to degrade methylmercury and performed similarly to non-encapsulated cells. This paper is Open Access at http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0147036.



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