The adsorption and desorption of Cd onto Shewanella oneidensis bacterial cells with and without blocking of sulfhydryl sites was measured in order to determine the effect of metal loading and to understand the role of sulfhydryl sites in the adsorption reactions. The observed adsorption/desorption behaviors display strong dependence on metal loading. Under a high loading of 40 lmol Cd/g bacterial cells, blocking the sulfhydryl sites within the cell envelope by exposure of the biomass to monobromo(trimethylammonio)bimane bromide (qBBr) does not significantly affect the extent of Cd adsorption, and we observed fully reversible adsorption under this condition. In contrast, under a low metal loading of 1.3 μmol Cd/g bacterial cells, the extent of Cd adsorption onto sulfhydryl-blocked S. oneidensis cells was significantly lower than that onto untreated cells, and only approximately 50-60% of the adsorbed Cd desorbed from the cells upon acidification. In conjunction with previous EXAFS results, our findings demonstrate that Cd adsorption onto S. oneidensis under low metal loading conditions is dominated by sulfhydryl binding, and thus is controlled by a distinct adsorption mechanism from the non-sulfhydryl site binding which controls Cd adsorption under high metal loading conditions. We use the data to develop a surface complexation model that constrains the values of the stability constants for individual Cd-sulfhydryl and Cd-non-sulfhydryl bacterial complexes, and we use this approach to account for the Cd adsorption behavior as a function of both pH and metal loading. This approach is crucial in order to predict metal adsorption onto bacteria under environmentally relevant metal loading conditions where sulfhydryl binding sites can dominate the adsorption reaction.
Yu, Q., & Fein, J. B. (2015). The effect of metal loading on Cd adsorption onto Shewanella oneidensis bacterial cell envelopes: The role of sulfhydryl sites. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 167, 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gca.2015.06.036