Friday, October 7, 2022

A naturally occurring soil bacterium might present an answer for ‘without end chemical compounds’

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Graphical summary. Credit: Environmental Science & Technology (2022). DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.2c01454

University of Tennessee, Knoxville school members Shawn Campagna, professor and affiliate division head in chemistry, and Frank Loeffler, Governor’s Chair professor in microbiology, have made a discovery that might result in new capabilities for managing environmental contamination.

Commercially used per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have been developed within the 1940’s and made their manner into quite a lot of frequent family merchandise. Today, PFAS are used for plastic and rubber manufacturing and in meals wrappers, umbrellas, firefighting foam and extra.

PFAS have additionally been referred to as “forever chemicals” resulting from their resistance to breaking down in each the setting and the human physique. PFAS have been found lingering in rivers, Arctic sea ice, human breast milk and within the blood of 97% of Americans. Most troublesome is their potential affect on human well being and PFAS have been linked to metabolic disruption, weight problems, diabetes, immune suppression, and most cancers.

Loeffler and Campagna’s work, just lately printed in Environmental Science and Technology, explores a possible avenue for lowering broad contamination with these chemical compounds. Their group discovered {that a} naturally occurring soil bacterium, Pseudomonas sp. pressure 273, was able to degrading and detoxifying 1,10-difluorodecane, a fluorinated compound that may very well be a mannequin for coping with PFAS.

Surprisingly, this bacterium was additionally in a position to make use of the fluorine containing byproducts to construct lipid bilayers, or mobile membranes, which signifies that we do not but know all that we should always in regards to the destiny of one of these compounds in organic programs.

“This research is important since fluorinated organic chemicals are emerging contaminants, and we do not yet know how and if they enter the food web,” stated Campagna. “The fact that bacteria can incorporate breakdown products of these molecules into their biomass indicates that we don’t fully understand the environmental impact of these contaminants.”

This discovery developed from a long-standing sequence of collaborations between Campagna and Loeffler and leverages the capabilities of each the Center for Environmental Biotechnology and the Biological and Small Molecule Mass Spectrometry Core.

“There is a pressing need to demonstrate that natural degradation processes for PFAS exist—that they are not forever chemicals,” stated Loeffler.

“The new findings emerged through collaborative efforts at the interface of disciplines, specifically environmental microbiology and analytical chemistry. My group obtained and characterized the unique microorganism, and Dr. Campagna’s group had the instrumentation and expertise to perform the analytical procedures. The results are a product of teamwork and neither group individually would have succeeded.”

Campagna and Loeffler hope their work can result in additional discoveries of micro organism able to degrading the complete vary of fluorinated pollution, which may result in eradicating PFAS from contaminated areas like consuming water.

Toxic ‘without end chemical compounds’ accumulate above the water desk

More data:
Yongchao Xie et al, Pseudomonas sp. Strain 273 Incorporates Organofluorine into the Lipid Bilayer throughout Growth with Fluorinated Alkanes, Environmental Science & Technology (2022). DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.2c01454

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University of Tennessee at Knoxville

A naturally occurring soil bacterium might present an answer for ‘without end chemical compounds’ (2022, September 23)
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