Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 131, Issue 2, pp 176–177 | Cite as

Involvement of mercury methylation in microbial mercury detoxication

  • Hidemitsu S. Pan-Hou
  • Nobumasa Imura
Short Communication


A vitamin B12 requiring strain was isolated fromChlostridium cochlearium T-2 C which is known to synthesize various types of vitamin B12 including methylcobalamin and has an ability to methylate inorganic mercury. The vitamin B12 auxotroph lacking the mercury-methylating activity showed higher sensitivity to inorganic mercury than its original strain, while the sensitivity of both strains to methylmercury was relatively low and essentially the same. These data seem to present affirmative evidence to postulate the physiological role of methylcobalamin-dependent methylation of mercury to be a process of detoxication.

Key words

Methylation of mercury Detoxication of mercury Mercury sensitivity Vitamin B12 auxotroph Methylcobalamin Clostridium cochlearium 





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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hidemitsu S. Pan-Hou
    • 1
  • Nobumasa Imura
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Pharmaceutical SciencesKitasato University 9-1TokyoJapan

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