Methyl Selenol as a Precursor in Selenite Reduction to Se/S Species by Methane-Oxidizing Bacteria
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American Society for Microbiology
Selenite reductionElemental seleniumMethane-oxidizing bacteriaMixed chalcogenide amorphous nanoparticles
Eswayah AS, Hondow N, Scheinost AC, Merroun M, Romero-González M, Smith TJ, Gardiner PHE. 2019. Methyl selenol as a precursor in selenite reduction to Se/S species by methane-oxidizing bacteria. Appl Environ Microbiol 85:e01379-19.
A wide range of microorganisms have been shown to transform seleniumcontaining oxyanions to reduced forms of the element, particularly seleniumcontaining nanoparticles. Such reactions are promising for the detoxification of environmental contamination and the production of valuable selenium-containing products, such as nanoparticles for application in biotechnology. It has previously been shown that aerobic methane-oxidizing bacteria, including Methylococcus capsulatus (Bath), are able to perform the methane-driven conversion of selenite (SeO3 2-) to seleniumcontaining nanoparticles and methylated selenium species. Here, the biotransformation of selenite by Mc. capsulatus (Bath) has been studied in detail via a range of imaging, chromatographic, and spectroscopic techniques. The results indicate that the nanoparticles are produced extracellularly and have a composition distinct from that of nanoparticles previously observed from other organisms. The spectroscopic data from the methanotroph-derived nanoparticles are best accounted for by a bulk structure composed primarily of octameric rings in the form Se8 - xSx with an outer coat of cell-derived biomacromolecules. Among a range of volatile methylated selenium and selenium-sulfur species detected, methyl selenol (CH3SeH) was found only when selenite was the starting material, although selenium nanoparticles (both biogenic and chemically produced) could be transformed into other methylated selenium species. This result is consistent with methyl selenol being an intermediate in the methanotroph-mediated biotransformation of selenium to all the methylated and particulate products observed.