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Electronic Journal of Biotechnology

On-line version ISSN 0717-3458


CAVALCANTI LUNA, Marcos A et al. Copper-induced adaptation, oxidative stress and its tolerance in Aspergillus niger UCP1261. Electron. J. Biotechnol. [online]. 2015, vol.18, n.6, pp.418-427. ISSN 0717-3458.

Background The effects of exposure to copper, during growth, on the production of biomass, total protein, catalase, glutathione-S transferase, glutathione peroxidase, peroxidase, polyphosphate, acid and alkaline phosphatases, ultrastructure and the ability to remove this metal from Aspergillus niger, obtained from caatinga soil, were evaluated. Results All parameters tested were influenced by the concentration of metal in the culture medium. The presence of metal induced high levels of antioxidant enzymes, including lipid peroxidation, thereby revealing the appearance of an oxidative stress response. The variation in polyphosphate levels indicates the participation of the polymer in response to stress induced by copper. The activities of the phosphatases were positively influenced by growing them in the presence of copper. Ultrastructure changes in the cell surface, electron density, thickness, and septation were visualized by exposing cells to increasingly larger concentrations of metal. The isolate was able to remove the agent from the growth medium, while maintaining its physiological functions. The metal removed from the cultures exposed to 0.5 mM, 1 mM and 2 mM copper exhibited percentages of removal equivalent to 75.78%, 66.04% and 33.51%. Conclusions The results indicate that the isolate was able to grow in high concentrations of copper, activates mechanisms for adaptation and tolerance in the presence of metal, and is highly efficient at removing the agent. Such data are fundamental if a better understanding is to be reached of the cellular and molecular abilities of native isolates, which can be used to develop bioprocesses in environmental and industrial areas.

Keywords : Aspergillus niger; Antioxidant enzyme; Copper removal; Polyphosphate; Ultrastructure.

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