Microbial Ecology

, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 139–146 | Cite as

Inhibitory effects of copper on bacteria related to the free ion concentration

  • L. P. T. M. Zevenhuizen
  • J. Dolfing
  • E. J. Eshuis
  • Ineke J. Scholten-Koerselman


Cu2+ ion determinations were carried out in complex and in inorganic salts-glycerol media, to which increasing amounts of Cu(II) had been added, with the ion-specific Cu(II)-Selectrode. Likewise, complexing capacity of bacterial suspensions was estimated by titration with CuSO4.

Copper-sensitive bacteria, e.g.,Klebsiella aerogenes, were inhibited in their growth and survival in the range of 10−8–10−6 M Cu2+ ion concentrations. In copper-buffered complex media, high copper loads could be tolerated, as growth proceeded with most of the copper bound to medium components. In low-complexing mineral salts media, in which high Cu2+ ion concentrations exist at low copper loads, there was competition of Cu2+ for binding sites of the cells. Total allowed copper was then determined by the ratio of copper to biomass.

Copper-resistant bacteria could be isolated from a stock solution of CuSO4, containing 100 ppm Cu(II). They were of thePseudomonas type and showed a much higher tolerance towards Cu2+, up to 10−3 M.


Biomass CuSO4 Klebsiella Mineral Salt Salt Medium 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. P. T. M. Zevenhuizen
    • 1
  • J. Dolfing
    • 1
  • E. J. Eshuis
    • 1
  • Ineke J. Scholten-Koerselman
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of MicrobiologyAgricultural UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands

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