Influence of metals and metalloids on the composition and fluorescence quenching of the extracellular polymeric substances produced by the polymorphic fungus Aureobasidium pullulans

Wenjuan Song, Yuyi Yang, Xinjin Liang, Feixue Liu, Geoffrey M. Gadd (Lead / Corresponding author)

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Abstract

Abstract: Aureobasidium pullulans is a ubiquitous and widely distributed fungus in the environment, and exhibits substantial tolerance against toxic metals. However, the interactions between metals and metalloids with the copious extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) produced by A. pullulans and possible relationships to tolerance are not well understood. In this study, it was found that mercury (Hg) and selenium (Se), as selenite, not only significantly inhibited growth of A. pullulans but also affected the composition of produced EPS. Lead (Pb) showed little influence on EPS yield or composition. The interactions of EPS from A. pullulans with the tested metals and metalloids depended on the specific element and their concentration. Fluorescence intensity measurements of the EPS showed that the presence of metal(loid)s stimulated the production of extracellular tryptophan-like and aromatic protein-like substances. Examination of fluorescence quenching and calculation of binding constants revealed that the fluorescence quenching process for Hg; arsenic (As), as arsenite; and Pb to EPS were mainly governed by static quenching which resulted in the formation of a stable non-fluorescent complexes between the EPS and metal(loid)s. Se showed no significant interaction with the EPS according to fluorescence quenching. These results provide further understanding of the interactions between metals and metalloids and EPS produced by fungi and their contribution to metal(loid) tolerance. Key points: • Metal(loid)s enhanced production of tryptophan- and aromatic protein-like substances. • Non-fluorescent complexes formed between the EPS and tested metal(loid)s. • EPS complexation and binding of metal(loid)s was dependent on the tested element. • Metal(loid)-induced changes in EPS composition contributed to metal(loid) tolerance.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Early online date23 Jun 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Jun 2020

Keywords

  • Aureobasidium pullulans
  • Excitation–emission matrix (EEM) fluorescence spectra
  • Extracellular polymeric substances (EPS)
  • Mercury
  • Selenium

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