Interaction and nanotoxic effect of ZnO and Ag nanoparticles on mesophilic and halophilic bacterial cells

Enzyme and Microbial Biochemistry Laboratory, Department of Chemistry, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, New Delhi, India.
Bioresource Technology (Impact Factor: 5.04). 01/2011; 102(2):1516-20. DOI: 10.1016/j.biortech.2010.07.117
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The toxicity of two commonly used nanoparticles, silver and zinc oxide on mesophilic and halophilic bacterial cells has been investigated. Enterobacter sp., Marinobacter sp., Bacillus subtilis, halophilic bacterium sp. EMB4, were taken as model systems. The nanotoxicity was more pronounced on Gram negative bacteria. ZnO nanoparticles reduced the growth of Enterobacter sp. by 50%, while 80% reduction was observed in halophilic Marinobacter sp. In case of halophiles, this may be attributed to higher content of negatively charged cardiolipins on their cell surface. Interestingly, bulk ZnO exerted minimal reduction in growth. Ag nanoparticles were similarly cytotoxic. Nanotoxicity towards Gram positive cells was significantly less, possibly due to presence of thicker peptidoglycan layer. The bacterium nanoparticle interactions were probed by electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-ray analysis. The results indicated electrostatic interactions between nanoparticles and cell surface as the primary step towards nanotoxicity, followed by cell morphological changes, increase in membrane permeability and their accumulation in the cytoplasm.

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