Lauren Rasmussen, ’17

Rasmussen, L., & Olapade, O. A. (2016). Influence of zinc on bacterial populations and their proteolytic enzyme activities in freshwater environments: a cross-site comparison. Canadian Journal of Microbiology, 1-9.

Abstract: Temporal responses of indigenous bacterial populations and proteolytic enzyme (i.e., aminopeptidase) activities in the bacterioplankton assemblages from 3 separate freshwater environments were examined after exposure to various zinc (Zn) concentrations under controlled microcosm conditions. Zn concentrations (ranging from 0 to 10 μmol/L) were added to water samples collected from the Kalamazoo River, Rice Creek, and Huron River and examined for bacterial abundance and aminopeptidase activities at various time intervals over a 48 h incubation period in the dark. The results showed that the Zn concentrations did not significantly influence total bacterial counts directly; however, aminopeptidase activities varied significantly to increasing zinc treatments over time. Also, analysis of variance and linear regression analyses revealed significant positive relationships between bacterial numbers and their hydrolytic enzyme activities, suggesting that both probably co-vary with increasing Zn concentrations in aquatic systems. The results from this study serve as additional evidence of the ecological role of Zn as an extracellular peptidase cofactor on the dynamics of bacterial assemblages in aquatic environments.

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