Ahner, B. A.. Cornell University, baa7@cornell.edu
Oleson, J. A.. Cornell University, jro5@cornell.edu
Slinski, K. M.. Cornell University, kms32@cornell.edu

Small organic sulfur compounds play a large role in the intracellular speciation of trace metals in marine and freshwater algae. Glutathione, the principle free thiol in most algae, can complex metals directly or is polymerized enzymatically into metal-binding ligands called phytochelatins. In Emiliana huxleyi, concentrations of g-glutamyl cysteine (a precursor of glutathione) are significantly higher than glutathione which has implications with respect to phytochelatin synthesis. We have examined the effect of prolonged metal exposure on glutathione synthesis in both freshwater and marine algae. We found that deviation from control concentrations of glutathione is highly variable among species, though short-term exposure to Cd stimulates glutathione synthesis in some organisms. Utilizing published and experimentally determined binding constants for glutathione and phytochelatin it is possible to evaluate the probable intracellular speciation of various trace metals such as Cd and Hg. In addition, we are evaluating the use of various metal-specific fluorescent probes to quantify intracellular metal speciation.
Day: Friday, Feb. 5
Time: 09:45 - 10:00am
Location: Sweeney Center
Code: SS37FR0945S