Kinetics of zinc toxicity to environmental bacterial isolates

Christian Okechukwu Nweke


Toxicity of zinc to Pseudomonas, Escherichia, Proteus, Bacillus and Arthrobacter species isolated from a tropical river and petroleum refinery effluent was assessed using TTC-dehydrogenase activity (DHA) inhibition test. At sufficient concentrations, zinc is toxic to these bacterial cells, and the exposure of the cells to zinc ion resulted in repression of dehydrogenase activity. The patterns of these toxic effects can be mathematically described with logistic dose-response models and in a manner similar to the non-competitive inhibition of enzymes. The threshold concentration above which toxic effect is observed ranged from 0.008 mM for Pseudomonas sp. DAF1 to 0.364 mM for Proteus sp. PLK2. The coefficients of inhibition Ki correlated with the IC50 and indicate that zinc toxicity is dependent on the organism. The Ki and toxicity threshold values predicted from the equations are comparable and are suitable indicators for kinetic analyses of zinc toxicity against bacteria.


Zinc; dehydrogenase activity; toxicity thresholds; refinery effluent; inhibition coefficient

Revista Ambiente & Água. ISSN:1980-993X DOI:10.4136/1980-993X

Editoração:Apoio:Filiada à ABEC: