Using x-ray microscopy and Hg L3 XANES to study Hg binding in the rhizosphere of spartina cordgrass

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Patty, C., Barnett, B., Mooney, B., Kahn, A., Levy, S., Liu, Y., … Andrews, J. C. (2009). Using x-ray microscopy and Hg L3 XANES to study Hg binding in the rhizosphere of spartina cordgrass. Environmental Science and Technology, 43(19), 7397-7402. doi:10.1021/es901076q
TitleUsing x-ray microscopy and Hg L3 XANES to study Hg binding in the rhizosphere of spartina cordgrass
AuthorsC. Patty, B. Barnett, B. Mooney, A. Kahn, S. Levy, Y. Liu, P. Pianetta, C. Andrews
AbstractSan Francisco Bay has been contaminated historically by mercury from mine tailings as well as contemporary industrial sources. Native Spartina foliosa and non-native S. alterniflora-hybrid cordgrasses are dominant florae within the SF Bay estuary environment. Understanding mercury uptake and transformations in these plants will help to characterize the significance of their roles in mercury biogeochemical cycling in the estuarine environment. Methylated mercury can be biomagnified up the food web, resulting in levels in sport fish up to 1 million times greater than in surrounding waters and resulting in advisories to limit fish intake. Understanding the uptake and methylation of mercury in the plant rhizosphere can yield insight into ways to manage mercury contamination. The transmission X-ray microscope on beamline 6-2 at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL) was used to obtain absorption contrast images and 3D tomography of Spartina foliosa roots that were exposed to 1 ppm Hg (as HgCl2) hydroponically for 1 week. Absorption contrast images of micrometer-sized roots from S. foliosa revealed dark particles, and dark channels within the root, due to Hg absorption. 3D tomography showed that the particles are on the root surface, and slices from the tomographic reconstruction revealed that the particles are hollow, consistent with microorganisms with a thin layer of Hg on the surface. Hg L3 XANES of ground-up plant roots and Hg L3 micro-XANES from microprobe analysis of micrometer-sized roots (60-120 μm in size) revealed three main types of speciation in both Spartina species: Hg-S ligation in a form similar to Hg(II) cysteine, Hg-S bonding as in cinnabar and metacinnabar, and methylmercury- carboxyl bonding in a form similar to methylmercury acetate. These results are interpreted within the context of obtaining a "snapshot" of mercury methylation in progress. © 2009 American Chemical Society.
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Start page7397
End page7402
SubjectsBeam lines, Biogeochemical cycling, Estuary environment, Fish intake, Food webs, Industrial sources, Mercury contamination, Mercury methylation, Methyl mercury, Micro-XANES, Microprobe analysis, Mine tailings, Non-native, Plant roots, Root surfaces, San Francisco Bay, Sportfish, Stanford, Thin layers, Tomographic reconstruction, X ray microscopy, XANES, Absorption, Alkylation, Analytical geochemistry, Mercury compounds, Methylation, Micrometers, Mining, Soils, Three dimensional, Tomography, X ray analysis, X ray microscopes, Mercury (metal), mercury, biogeochemical cycle, chemical bonding, estuarine environment, mercury (element), perennial plant, rhizosphere, speciation (chemistry), tailings, XANES spectroscopy, absorption spectroscopy, article, estuary, food web, X ray microanalysis, Mass Spectrometry, Microscopy, Poaceae, San Francisco, Soil Microbiology, Spartina, Spartina alterniflora, Spartina foliosa
NoteCited By (since 1996):27, CODEN: ESTHA