Biochemical and molecular characterization of heavy metal resistant bacteria isolated from the Klip River, South Africa

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dc.contributor.advisor Pillay, M.
dc.contributor.advisor Stegmann, P. Chihomvu, Patience 2016-09-13T08:44:36Z 2016-09-13T08:44:36Z 2014
dc.description M. Tech. (Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Applied and Computer Sciences) Vaal University of Technology en_US
dc.description.abstract The Klip River has suffered severe anthropogenic effects from industrial, agricultural, mining and domestic activities. As a result harmful contaminants such as heavy metals have accumulated in the river, causing microorganisms inhabiting the environment to develop mechanisms to protect them from the harmful effects of the contaminants. The current study deals with the isolation and characterization of heavy metal resistant bacteria isolated from the Klip River Catchment. Water and sediment samples were collected from 6 sites of the Klip River, and the Vaal Barrage (control). In-situ parameters, such as pH, turbidity, salinity, conductivity, temperature and dissolved oxygen were determined. Lead, iron, cadmium, nickel, zinc and copper concentrations of water were determined by atomic absorption spectroscopy. For bacterial analysis sediment and water samples were collected in sterile glass jars and bottles respectively. Heavy metal resistant bacterial isolates were screened on heavy metal constituted Luria Bertani (LB) agar. Biochemical profiles of the isolates were constructed using the API 20E® strips, antibiotic susceptibility tests were done and growth studies were carried out using spectrophotometric methods. The isolates were identified using 16SrDNA sequencing and alignment. A partial sequence of the copper resistance gene pcoA was amplified from strains Lysinibacillus sp. KR25 [KJ935917], and Escherichia coli KR29 [KJ935918]. The pcoR gene was amplified from E. coli (KR29) and the partial sequence for the chromate resistance gene chrB, was amplified from Pseudomonas sp. KR23 [KJ935916]. The gene fragments were then sequenced and translated into protein sequences. The partial protein sequences were aligned with existing copper and chromate resistance proteins in the Genbank and phylogenetic analysis was carried out. The physico-chemical properties of the translated proteins were predicted using the bioinformatics tool Expasy ProtParam Program. A homology modelling method was used for the prediction of secondary structures using SOPMA software, 3D-protein modelling was carried out using I-TASSER. Validation of the 3D structures produced was performed using Ramachandran plot analysis using MolProbity, C-score and TM-scores. Plasmid isolation was also carried out for both the wild type strains and cured derivatives and their plasmid profiles were analysed using gel electrophoresis to ascertain the presence of plasmids in the isolates. The cured derivatives were also plated on heavy metal constituted media. Antibiotic disc diffusion tests were also carried out to ascertain whether the antibiotic resistance determinants were present on the plasmid or the chromosome. The uppermost part of the Klip River had the lowest pH and thus the highest levels of heavy metal concentrations were recorded in the water samples. Turbidity, salinity and specific conductivity increased measurably at Site 4 (Henley on Klip Weir). Sixteen isolates exhibiting high iron and lead resistance (4 mM) were selected for further studies. Antibiotic susceptibility tests revealed that the isolates exhibited multi-tolerances to drugs such as Ampicillin (10 μg/ml), Amoxcyllin (10 μg/ml), Cephalothin acid (30 μg/ml), Cotrimoxazole (25 μg/ml), Neomycin (30 μg/ml), Streptomycin (10 μg/ml), Tetracycline (30 μg/ml), Tobramycin (10 μg/ml) and Vancomycin (30 μg/ml). Growth studies illustrated the effect of heavy metals on the isolates growth patterns. Cadmium and chromium inhibited the growth of most of the microorganisms. The following strains had high mean specific growth rates; KR01, KR17, and KR25, therefore these isolates have great potential for bioremediative applications. Using 16SrDNA sequencing the isolates were identified as KR01 (Aeromonas hydrophila), KR02 (Bacillus sp.), KR04 (Bacillus megaterium), KR06 (Bacillus subtilis), KR07 (Pseudomonas sp), KR17 (Proteus penneri), KR18 (Shewanella), KR19 (Aeromonas sp.), KR22 (Proteus sp.), KR23 (Pseudomonas sp.), KR25 (Lysinibacillus sp.), KR29 (Escherichia coli), KR44 (Bacillus licheniformis) and KR48 (Arthrobacter sp.). Three heavy metal resistance genes were detected from three isolates. The pcoA gene was amplified from strains Lysinibacillus sp KR25, and Escherichia coli KR29; pcoR gene from E. coli KR29 and the chrB gene, from Pseudomonas sp. KR23. The genes encoding for heavy metal resistance and antibiotic resistance were found to be located on the chromosome for both Pseudomonas sp. (KR23) and E.coli (KR29). For Lysinibacillus (KR25) the heavy metal resistance determinants are suspected to be located on a mobile genetic element which was not detected using gel electrophoresis. The translated protein sequence for pcoA_25 showed 82% homology with the copper resistant protein form Cronobacter turicensis [YP003212800.1]. Sequence comparisons between the pcoR partial protein sequence found in E. coli KR29 showed 100% homology with 36 amino acids (which was 20% of the query cover) from a transcriptional regulatory protein pcoR found in E. coli [WP014641166.1]. For the chrB partial protein sequence detected in Pseudomonas sp. (KR23), 97% of the query sequence showed 99% homology to a vitamin B12 transporter btuB in Stenotrophus sp. RIT309. en_US
dc.format.extent xxii, 165 leaves: illustrations en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject Klip River, South Africa. en_US
dc.subject Heavy metals contaminants en_US
dc.subject Heavy metal resistant bacteria en_US
dc.subject Bioremediative applications en_US
dc.subject.ddc 571.950968 en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Water -- Pollution en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Heavy metals -- environmental aspects en_US
dc.title Biochemical and molecular characterization of heavy metal resistant bacteria isolated from the Klip River, South Africa en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

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