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Particulate thiol peptides along a salinity gradient of a metal-contaminated estuary

Kawakami, Silvia K. and Achterberg, Eric P. (2012) Particulate thiol peptides along a salinity gradient of a metal-contaminated estuary Estuaries and Coasts, 35, (2), pp. 658-664. (doi:10.1007/s12237-011-9451-1).

Record type: Article


The thiol peptide phytochelatins (PC2; the polymer with n?=?2) are efficient metal-chelating compounds produced by phytoplankton and higher plants. Both PC2 and their precursor glutathione (GSH) are related to detoxification mechanisms. GSH and PC2 were quantified using liquid chromatography with fluorescent detection and observed in the particulate phase along a salinity gradient of the Tamar Estuary (SW UK), a heavily metal impacted site, at concentrations up to 274 and 16.5 ?mol?(g chl a)?1, respectively. The peptides predominated within low (0–5) and mid-salinities (5–20). Down-estuary, at sites farther from metal sources and salinities higher than 20, PC2 showed a sharp decrease or were not detected. High PC2/GSH ratios indicated areas with augmented concentrations of bioavailable metals at the tidal limit, near Cu mines and the mid-estuary where resuspension of sediments occurs. By following typical partitioning patterns previously reported for dissolved Cu and Zn, the production of thiol peptides, notably PC2, reflected a rapid interaction between the particulate and dissolved phases.

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Published date: March 2012
Organisations: Ocean Biochemistry & Ecosystems


Local EPrints ID: 336790
ISSN: 1559-2723
PURE UUID: cdcc72a1-a822-42ed-b3d5-d65852db607b

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Date deposited: 04 Apr 2012 09:24
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 06:06

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Author: Silvia K. Kawakami

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