Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 31, Issue 5–6, pp 619–625 | Cite as

Binding of metals by cell walls of Cunninghamella blakesleeana grown in the presence of copper or cobalt

  • G. Venkateswerlu
  • G. Stotzky
Environmental Microbiology


The binding of metals by cell walls isolated from Cunninghamella blakesleeana grown in the presence of inhibitory concentration of Cu or Co and which had altered chemical compositions was compared with the binding by control cell walls. The Co-cell walls, which had higher contents of phosphate and chitosan, bound more Cu and Co. Although the Vmax for Cu and Co differed with each of the cell walls, the K m values for the binding of Cu (6.3x10-3M) and Co (2.1x10-3M) were the same for all three types of cell walls. The cell walls also differed in their quantitative binding of various metals; control cell walls: Zn> Fe> Mn> Cd> Ca> Ni> Cu> Ag> Co> Mg; Cu-cellwalls: Zn> Fe> Mn> Cu> Ni> Cd> Ag> Ca> Co> Mg; and Co-cell walls: Fe> Zn> Cu> Mn> Cd> Ag> Ca> Ni=Co> Mg. The binding of Cu was temperature-dependent and had an optimum pH. The binding of Co was inhibited by Cu, but the binding of Cu was not inhibited by Co, and Cd totally suppressed the binding of Co but not of Cu, suggesting two binding sites on the cell walls, one exclusively for Cu and the other common to both metals but with a higher affinity for Co. The cell walls did not bind Mg. The Cu-or Co-loaded cell walls eluted with 5 mM ethylenediaminetetraacetate (EDTA) rebound these metals to the same or greater extent as the original walls, but walls eluted with 0.5 N HCl bound only 50% of that bound originally.


Copper Phosphate Cell Wall EDTA Cobalt 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Venkateswerlu
    • 1
  • G. Stotzky
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Microbial Ecology, Department of BiologyNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA

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