The extracellular speciation of mercury may control bacterial uptake and methylation. Mercury-polysulfide complexes have recently been shown to be prevalent in sulfidic waters containing zero-valent sulfur. Despite substantial increases in total dissolved mercury concentration, methylation rates in cultures of Desulfovibrio desulfuricans ND132 equilibrated with cinnabar did not increase in the presence of polysulfides, as expected due to the large size and charged nature of most of the complexes. In natural waters not at saturation with cinnabar, mercury-polysulfide complexes would be expected to shift the speciation of mercury from HgS0(aq) toward charged complexes, thereby decreasing methylation rates.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology