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    Melanin is a biopolymer with versatile structural and functional properties and diverse applications in recovering toxic chemicals from water and wastewater, biomedical imaging, and as theragnostic agent. We report the structural characterization and biosynthetic pathway of an extracellular pyomelanin secreted by a sponge-associated bacterium, Shewanella sp. (Shewanella-melanin), and their potential application in metal recovery from liquid. Pyomelanin particles of > 50 µm size were found in the culture medium within 48 h of growth, which were formed through the self-polymerization of benzoquinone molecule produced through homogentisic acid pathway. The aspC and hppD genes involved in the biosynthetic pathway of pyomelanin were detected in the whole genome sequence of Shewanella sp. The FT-IR spectra of Shewanella-melanin, at ~ 3300-3420 cm-1 corresponding to the stretching vibration of -NH and -OH, was in good agreement with that of Sepia melanin, while its elemental composition (C/N/H/S of 29.2:8.23:6.41:1.58) was unique. Shewanella-melanin showed ~ 300 and ~ 950 times increased chelation of manganese and iron from a liquid medium supplemented with 2 mM of MnSO4 and FeSO4, respectively, compared to a control. The FT-IR spectrum showed the binding of metal ions to the carboxylic acid, hydroxyl, and amine groups of Shewanella-melanin. The Shewanella-melanin, with its excellent metal biosorption, could be a potential candidate for removing toxic compounds from water, in turn contributing to the fulfillment of sustainable development goal (SDG) 6. © 2022. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.


    Sreelakshmi Parakkaparambil Kuttan, Anas Abdulaziz, Jasmin Chekidhenkuzhiyil, Devika Raj, Mahesh Mohan, Sujith Athiyanathil. Characterization of pyomelanin secreted by Shewanella sp. and their application in metal recovery. Environmental science and pollution research international. 2023 Jan;30(3):6705-6715

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    PMID: 36006536

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