Scientific article
Open access

Surface displayed MerR increases mercury accumulation by green microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii

Published inEnvironment international, vol. 189, 108813
Publication date2024-07

Mercury is a highly toxic trace metal that can accumulate in aquatic ecosystems and when resent at high concentrations can pose risks to both aquatic life and humans consuming contaminated fish. This research explores the use of the metalloregulatory protein MerR, known for its high affinity and selectivity toward mercury, in a novel application. Through a cell surface engineering approach, MerR was displayed on cells of green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. A hydroxyproline-rich GP1 protein was used as an anchor to construct the engineered strains GP1-MerR that expresses the fluorescent protein mVenus. The surface engineered GP1-MerR strain led up to five folds higher Hg2+ accumulation compared to the WT strain at concentration range from 10-9 to 10-7 M Hg2+. The binding of Hg2+ via MerR was specific and did not get significantly affected by major freshwater water quality variables such as Ca2+ and dissolved organic matter. The presence of other trace metals (Zn2+, Cu2+, Ni2+, Pb2+, Cd2+) in a same concentration range even resulted in 30–40 % increase in the accumulated Hg. Further, the engineered cells also demonstrated the ability to accumulate Hg2+ from the water extracts of the Hg-contaminated sediment samples. These results demonstrate a novel approach utilizing the cell surface display system in C. reinhardtii for its potential application in bioremediation.

  • Algae
  • Bioremediation
  • Mercury
  • MerR
Citation (ISO format)
CHOKSHI, Kaumeel et al. Surface displayed MerR increases mercury accumulation by green microalga <i>Chlamydomonas reinhardtii</i>. In: Environment international, 2024, vol. 189, p. 108813. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2024.108813
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0160-4120

Technical informations

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