Identification and initial characterization of a copper resistant South African mine isolate

Abstract


A. O. Ojo, E. van Heerden and L. A. Piater*

South African mine isolates were screened for resistance to copper, and an isolate showing the highest resistance was identified as Proteus mirabilis, a Gram-negative bacterium, by 16S rDNA gene analysis and Biolog test. A higher minimal inhibitory copper concentration at 150 ?g/ml was obtained using Vätäänen-Nine-Salts-Solution as a less complex medium. Studies pertaining to the copper resistance mechanism of P. mirabilis showed the organism to possess a pcoA-like gene which encodes PcoA, a putative multicopper oxidase known to protect organisms from copper–mediated toxicity at high concentrations.

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