A Unique Enhancement of Propionibacterium freudenreichii’s Ability to Remove Pb(II) from Aqueous Solution by Tween 80 Treatment

Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(16), 9207

Microbial agents have promise for the bioremediation of Pb(II)-polluted environments and wastewater, the biodecontamination of foods, and the alleviation of toxicity in living organisms. The dairy bacterium Propionibacterium freudenreichii is poorly able to remove Pb(II) from aqueous solution at 25 ppm, ranging from 0 to 10% of initial concentration. Here, we report on an original strong enhancement of this activity (ranging from 75% to 93%, < 0.01) following the addition of a polysorbate detergent (Tween® 80) during or either shortly after the growth of a P. freudenreichii culture. We evaluated the optimal Tween® 80 concentration for pretreatment conditions, documented the role of other detergents, and explored the possible mechanisms involved. Our results reveal a novel, environmentally friendly, low-cost pretreatment procedure for enhancing the selective removal of lead from water by probiotic-documented bacteria.

Fanny George, Marie Titécat, Nicolas Barois, Catherine Daniel, Anne Garat, Gwénaël Jan and Benoît Foligné

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