Jun 22, 1999

Toxicity of organic and inorganic mercury to Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety
A KungolosS Muramoto


In this study the effect if six different forms of mercury on the growth of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is presented. Five kinds of strains of S. cerevisiae were used. They were a wild type, a mercury-resistant type, and three mutants: mutation repair-deficient mutant, excision repair-deficient mutant, and recombination repair-deficient mutant. In terms of EC50 toward the wild-type strain, the toxicity order for the inorganic forms was Hg(NO3)2>HgSO4>HgCl2. Monovalent nitrate mercury Hg(NO3)2 was more toxic than bivalent Hg(NO3)2. The toxicity of organic mercury CH3HgCl on cell growth was two orders of magnitude higher than that of inorganic HgCl2. Between the two organic forms, CH3HgCl was more toxic than CH3HgOH. The survival rate in the presence of a certain concentration of CH3HgCl was about one-hundredth of the survival in presence of the same concentration of HgCl2. On the other hand, the concentration of CH3HgCl in the cell was about 170 times that of HgCl2. The addition of chelating agents, EDTA and methyl-penicillamine, to the medium did not reduce the toxicity of mercury. Among the three mutants tested, the one deficient in recombination repair systems was the most sensitive to mercury.

  • References2
  • Citations12


  • References2
  • Citations12


Mentioned in this Paper

Saccharomyces cerevisiae allergenic extract
Chelating Agents
Excision Repair
Mercuric chloride
Edetic Acid, Sodium Salt
Cell Growth

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