Early detection of mercury contamination by fluorescence induction of photosynthetic bacteria

Emese Asztalos, Francesca Italiano, Francesco Milano, Péter Maróti, Massimo Trotta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)


The induction (sudden dark-to-light transition) of fluorescence of photosynthetic bacteria has proved to be sensitive tool for early detection of mercury (Hg2+) contamination of the culture medium. The major characteristics of the induction (dark, variable and maximum fluorescence levels together with rise time) offer an easier, faster and more informative assay of indication of the contamination than the conventional techniques. The inhibition of Hg2+ is stronger in the light than in the dark and follows complex kinetics. The fast component (in minutes) reflects the damage of the quinone acceptor pool of the RC and the slow component (in hours) is sensitive to the disintegration of the light harvesting system including the loss of the structural organization and of the pigments. By use of fluorescence induction, the dependence of the diverse pathways and kinetics of the mercury-induced effects on the age and the metabolic state of the bacteria were revealed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1218-1223
Number of pages6
JournalPhotochemical and Photobiological Sciences
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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