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Title: Determination of thiol functional groups on bacteria and natural organic matter in environmental systems

Organic thiols (R-SH) are known to react and form complexes with some toxic soft metals such as mercury (Hg) in both biotic and abiotic systems. However, a clear understanding of these interactions is currently limited because quantifying thiols in environmental matrices is difficult due to their low abundance, susceptibility to oxidation, and measurement interference by non-thiol compounds in samples. Here, we report a fluorescence-labeling method using a maleimide containing probe, ThioGlo-1 (TG-1), to determine total thiols directly on bacterial cells and natural organic matter (NOM). We systematically evaluated the optimal thiol labeling conditions and interference from organic compounds such as disulfide, methionine, thiourea, and amine, and inorganic ions such as Na+, K+, Ca2+, Fe2+, Cl-, SO42-, HCO3-, and SCN-, and found that the method is highly sensitive and selective. Only relatively high levels of sulfide (S2-) and sulfite (SO32-) significantly interfere with the thiol analysis. The method was successful in determining thiols in a bacterium Geobacter sulfurreducens PCA and its mutants in a phosphate buffered saline solution. The measured value of ~2.1 104 thiols cell-1 (or ~0.07 mol g-1 wet cells) is in good agreement with that observed during reactions between Hg and PCA cells. Using the standard addition, wemore » determined the total thiols of two reference NOM samples, the reduced Elliot soil humic acid and Suwanee River NOM, to be 3.6 and 0.7 mol g-1, respectively, consistent with those obtained based on their reactions with Hg.« less
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  1. ORNL
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: TALANTA; Journal Volume: 119; Journal Issue: 1
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)
Sponsoring Org:
SC USDOE - Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States