Deinococcus radiodurans is an extreme bacterium known for its high resistance to stresses including radiation and oxidants. The ability of D. radiodurans to reduce Au(III) and biosynthesize gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) was investigated in aqueous solution by ultraviolet and visible (UV/Vis) absorption spectroscopy, electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction (XRD), dynamic light scattering (DLS), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). D. radiodurans efficiently synthesized AuNPs from 1 mM Au(III) solution in 8 h. The AuNPs were of spherical, triangular and irregular shapes with an average size of 43.75 nm and a polydispersity index of 0.23 as measured by DLS. AuNPs were distributed in the cell envelope, across the cytosol and in the extracellular space. XRD analysis confirmed the crystallite nature of the AuNPs from the cell supernatant. Data from the FTIR and XPS showed that upon binding to proteins or compounds through interactions with carboxyl, amine, phospho and hydroxyl groups, Au(III) may be reduced to Au(I), and further reduced to Au(0) with the capping groups to stabilize the AuNPs. Biosynthesis of AuNPs was optimized with respect to the initial concentration of gold salt, bacterial growth period, solution pH and temperature. The purified AuNPs exhibited significant antibacterial activity against both Gram-negative (Escherichia coli) and Gram-positive (Staphylococcus aureus) bacteria by damaging their cytoplasmic membrane. Therefore, the extreme bacterium D. radiodurans can be used as a novel bacterial candidate for efficient biosynthesis of AuNPs, which exhibited potential in biomedical application as an antibacterial agent.
Li, J., Li, Q., Ma, X., Tian, B., Li, T., Yu, J., … Hua, Y. (2016). Biosynthesis of gold nanoparticles by the extreme bacterium Deinococcus radiodurans and an evaluation of their antibacterial properties. International Journal of Nanomedicine, 11, 5931–5944. https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S119618