Aluminium (Al) is one of the most popular materials for industrial and domestic use. Nevertheless, research has proven that this metal can be toxic to most organisms. This light metal has no known biological function and to date very few aluminium-specific biological pathways have been identified. In addition, information about the impact of this metal on microbial life is scarce. Here, we aimed to study the effect of aluminium on the metal-resistant soil bacterium Cupriavidus metallidurans CH34 in different growth modes, i.e. planktonic cells, adhered cells and mature biofilms. Our results indicated that despite a significant tolerance to aluminium (minimal inhibitory concentration of 6.25 mM Al₂(SO₄)₃.18H₂O), the exposure of C. metallidurans to a sub-inhibitory dose (0.78 mM) caused early oxidative stress and an increase in hydrolytic activity. Changes in the outer membrane surface of planktonic cells were observed, in addition to a rapid disruption of mature biofilms. On protein level, aluminium exposure increased the expression of proteins involved in metabolic activity such as pyruvate kinase, formate dehydrogenase and poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) polymerase, whereas proteins involved in chemotaxis, and the production and transport of iron scavenging siderophores were significantly downregulated.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Waste Management and Disposal
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
- Environmental Engineering
- Environmental Chemistry