J. Phys. IV France
Volume 107, May 2003
Page(s) 393 - 396

J. Phys. IV France
107 (2003) 393
DOI: 10.1051/jp4:20030324

Monitoring bacterial communities adaptation to mercury contamination in estuarine sediments maintained in slurries

R. Duran1, V. Menuet1, M. Monperrus2, R. Guyoneaud1, M.S. Goni1, E. Tessier2, D. Amouroux2, O.F.X. Donard2 and P. Caumette1

1  Laboratoire d'Écologie Moléculaire, Université de Pau, BP. 1155, 64013 Pau cedex, France
2  Laboratoire de Chimie Bio-Inorganique et Environnement, UMR 5034 du CNRS, Université de Pau, 64013 Pau cedex, France

Adour sediments were incubated in slurries and polluted with inorganic mercury (HgC1 2) to follow the adaptation of microbial communities to mercury. Mercury methylation was observed only in slurries maintained under anoxic conditions. Temporal variation of microbial community structure was identified using molecular approaches The T-RFLP method based on the 16S ribosomal RNA encoding gene analysis demonstrated that microbial community structure was strongly dependent of mercury methylation potential. The analysis based on the functional mer genes involved in mercury resistance mechanisms revealed the presence of well adapted bacterial populations in Adour sediments. Furthermore significant modifications of the distribution of mer genes during incubation time were observed indicating that mercury addition influenced also the resistant populations.

© EDP Sciences 2003