Organic matter in sewage, soil, and aquatic systems may enhance or inhibit the infectivity of viruses associated with particulates (e.g., clay minerals, sediments). The purpose of this investigation was to identify the mechanisms whereby organic matter, in the form of defined proteins, affects the adsorption of reovirus to the clay minerals kaolinite and montmorillonite and its subsequent infectivity. Chymotrypsin and ovalbumin reduced the adsorption of reovirus to kaolinite and montmorillonite homoionic to sodium. Lysozyme did not reduce the adsorption of the virus to kaolinite, but it did reduce adsorption to montmorillonite. The proteins apparently competed with the reovirus for sites on the clay. As lysozyme does not adsorb to kaolinite by cation exchange, it did not inhibit the adsorption of reovirus to this clay. The amount of reovirus desorbed from lysozyme-coated montmorillonite was approximately 38% less (compared with the input population) than that from uncoated or chymotrypsin-coated montmorillonite after six washings with sterile distilled water. Chymotrypsin and lysozyme markedly decreased reovirus infectivity in distilled water, whereas infectivity of the virus was enhanced after recovery from an ovalbumin-distilled water-reovirus suspension (i.e., from the immiscible pelleted fraction plus supernatant). The results of these studies indicate that the persistence of reovirus in terrestrial and aquatic environments may vary with the type of organic matter and clay mineral with which the virus comes in contact.
The clay minerals montmorillonite and kaolinite protected bacteria, including actinomycetes, and filamentous fungi from the inhibitory effects of cadmium (Cd). Montmorillonite provided greater protection than did equivalent concentrations of kaolinite. The protective ability of the clays was correlated with their cation exchange capacity (CEC). The greater the CEC, the greater the absorbancy of exogenous Cd by the exchange complex and the greater the protection. The greater protection afforded by montmorillonite, as compared to kaolinite, was correlated with its higher CEC. Clays homoionic to Cd did not protect against exogenous Cd, as the exchange complex was already saturated with Cd. Montmorillonite homoionic to Cd was more detrimental to microbial growth than was kaolinite homoionic to Cd, as more Cd was present on and apparently desorbed from the montmorillonite.
Montmorillonite-benzylamine complexes were formed immediately upon addition of 20 pg to 20 μg of amine per ml of suspensions containing the clay. The extent of amine sorbed was a linear function of equilibrium amine concentration in lake water. Increases in the clay concentration decreased the percentage of the organic compound that was mineralized at amine levels of 20 pg to 200 ng, but not at 20 μg/ml. A larger percentage of the chemical was released from the complex during mineralization in the presence of high clay concentrations than in the presence of low clay concentrations. The rates of desorption and mineralization increased linearly with benzylamine levels up to 200 ng/ml. Montmorillonite did not enhance mineralization rates at amine levels of 200 ng/ml or lower, but it was stimulatory at 20 μg/ml. Except at high amine and clay concentrations, mineralization was more rapid than desorption during the early periods of decomposition when the amine concentration in solution was relatively high. However, relative to the microbial demand, desorption was more rapid during later periods of decomposition when the amine level in solution was very low. Mineralization of benzoate was not usually affected by montmorillonite, kaolinite, or glass beads. More than 90% of the carbon from benzylamine and benzoate was often mineralized when the substrate concentration was 250 ng/ml or less. After incubation of the chemical in lake water, none of the radioactivity from benzylamine was in the particulate fraction containing natural sediment and microbial cells. The data indicate that clay may have a significant effect on the microbial decomposition of low concentrations of certain organic compounds.
This paper deals with the synthesis of a biocompatible chitosan ammonium salt N-(2-hydroxy) propyl-3-trimethylammonium chitosan chloride (HTCC) and using it in montmorillonite ion-exchange process. HTCC-modified montmorillonite (Mt) with different chemical ratios was successfully synthesized, and their characteristics have been verified by XRD and FTIR analyses. Produced samples have been evaluated in terms of antibacterial efficiency and biocompatibility (cell culture test). Antibacterial efficiency of synthesized HTCC/Mt samples has been confirmed against both gram negative bacteria (Escherichia coli) and gram positive bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus). The results disclosed that the antibacterial efficiency of HTCC-modified montmorillonite was unexpectedly even more than HTCC. This excellent synergistic effect has been referred to entrapping bacteria between the intercalated structures of HTCC-modified montmorillonite. Then HTCC on clay layers can seriously attack and damage the entrapped bacteria. An extraordinary biocompatibility, cell attachment, and cell growth even more than tissue culture polystyrene (TCPS) have been recorded in the case of this novel kind of modified clay. Due to existing concerns about serious and chronic infections after implant placement, this natural-based bioactive and antibacterial modified clay can be used in electrospun nanofibers and other polymeric implants with promising mechanical properties for tissue engineering applications.
Computer animation of center of mass coordinates obtained from 800 ps molecular dynamics simulations of Cs-smectite hydrates (1/3 and 2/3 water monolayers) provided information concerning the structure and dynamics of the interlayer region that could not be obtained through traditional simulation analysis methods. Cs+ formed inner sphere complexes with the mineral surface, and could be seen to jump from one attracting location near a layer charge site to the next, while water molecules were observed to migrate from the hydration shell of one ion to that of another. Neighboring ions maintained a partial hydration shell by sharing water molecules, such that a single water molecule hydrated two ions simultaneously for hundreds of picoseconds. Cs-montmorillonite hydrates featured the largest extent of this sharing interaction, because interlayer ions were able to inhabit positions near surface cavities as well as at their edges, close to oxygen triads. The greater positional freedom of Cs+ within the montmorillonite interlayer, a result of structural hydroxyl orientation and low tetrahedral charge, promoted the optimization of distances between cations and water molecules required for water sharing. Preference of Cs+ for locations near oxygen triads was observed within interlayer beidellite and hectorite. Water molecules also could be seen to interact directly with the mineral surface, entering its surface cavities to approach attracting charge sites and structural hydroxyls. With increasing water content, water molecules exhibited increased frequency and duration of both cavity habitation and water sharing interactions. Competition between Cs+ and water molecules for surface sites was evident. These important cooperative and competitive features of interlayer molecular behavior were uniquely revealed by animation of an otherwise highly complex simulation output.
The electrokinetic patterns of four bacterial species (Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus megaterium, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Agrobacterium radiobacter), two yeasts (Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Candida albicans), and two clay minerals (montmorillonite and kaolinite) in the presence of the chloride salts of the heavy metals, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb, and Zn, and of Na and Mg were determined by microelectrophoresis. The cells and kaolinite were net negatively charged at pH values above their isoelectric points (pI) in the presence of Na, Mg, Hg, and Pb at an ionic strength (mu) of 3 x 10(-4); montmorillonite has no pI and was net negatively charged at all pH values in the presence of these metals. However, the charge of some bacteria, S. cerevisiae, and kaolinite changed to a net positive charge (charge reversal) in the presence of Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, and Zn at pH values above 5.0 (the pH at which charge reversal occurred differed with the metal) and then, at higher pH values, again became negative. The charge of the bacteria and S. cerevisiae also reversed in solutions of Cu and Ni with a mu of greater than 3 x 10(-4), whereas there was no reversal in solutions with a mu of less than 3 x 10(-4). The clays became net positively charged when the mu of Cu was greater than 3 x 10(-4) and that of Ni was greater than 1.5 x 10(-4). The charge of the cells and clays also reversed in solutions containing both Mg and Ni or both Cu and Ni (except montmorillonite) but not in solutions containing both Mg and Cu (except kaolinite) (mu = 3 x 10(-4)). The pIs of the cells in the presence of the heavy metals were at either higher or lower pH values than in the presence of Na and Mg. Exposure of the cells to the various metals at pH values from 2 to 9 for the short times (ca. 10 min) required to measure the electrophoretic mobility did not affect their viability. The specific adsorption on the cells and clays of the hydrolyzed species of some of the heavy metals that formed at higher pH values was probably responsible for the charge reversal. These results suggest that the toxicity of some heavy metals to microorganisms varies with pH because the hydrolyzed speciation forms of these metals, which occur at higher pH values, bind on the cell surface and alter the net charge of the cell.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)
The adsorption of reovirus to clay minerals has been reported by several investigators, but the mechanisms defining this association have been studied only minimally. The purpose of this investigation was to elucidate the mechanisms involved with this interaction. More reovirus type 3 was adsorbed, in both distilled and synthetic estuarine water, by low concentrations of montmorillonite than by comparable concentrations of kaolinite containing a mixed complement of cations on the exchange complex. Adsorption to the clays was essentially immediate and was correlated with the cation-exchange capacity of the clays, indicating that adsorption was primarily to negatively charged sites on the clays. Adsorption was greater with low concentrations of clays in estuarine water than in distilled water, as the higher ionic strength of the estuarine water reduced the electrokinetic potential of both clay and virus particles. The addition of cations (as chloride salts) to distilled water enhanced adsorption, with divalent cations being more effective than monovalent cations and 10(-2) M resulting in more adsorption than 10(-3) M. Potassium ions suppressed reovirus adsorption to montmorillonite, probably by collapsing the clay lattices and preventing the expression of the interlayer-derived cation-exchange capacity. More virus was adsorbed by montmorillonite made homoionic to various mono-, di-, and trivalent cations (except by montmorillonite homoionic to potassium) than by comparable concentrations of kaolinite homoionic to the same cations. The sequence of the amount of adsorption to homoionic montmorillonite was Al greater than Ca greater than Mg greater than Na greater than K; the sequence of adsorption to kaolinite was Na greater than Al greater than Ca greater than Mg greater than K. The constant partition-type adsorption isotherms obtained when the clay concentration was maintained constant and the virus concentration was varied indicated that a fixed proportion of the added virus population was adsorbed, regardless of the concentration of infectious particles. A heterogeneity within the reovirus population was indicated.
Animal feeding studies have demonstrated that clay additives, such as bentonites, can bind aflatoxins in ingested feed and reduce or eliminate the toxicity. Bentonite deposits are found throughout the world and mostly consist of expandable smectite minerals, such as montmorillonite. The surfaces of smectite minerals can be treated with organic compounds to create surface-modified clays that more readily bind some contaminants than the untreated clay. Montmorillonites treated with organic cations, such as hexadecyltrimethylammonium (HDTMA) and phenyltrimethylammonium (PTMA), more effectively remove organic contaminants, such as benzene and toluene, from water than untreated clay. Similarly, montmorillonite treated with PTMA (Kd = 24,100) retained more aflatoxin B1 (AfB1) from aqueous corn flour than untreated montmorillonite (Kd = 944). Feed additives that reduced aflatoxin toxicity in animal feeding studies adsorbed more AfB1 from aqueous corn flour than feed additives that were less effective. The organic cations HDTMA and PTMA are considered toxic and would not be suitable for clay additives used in feed or food, but other non-toxic or nutrient compounds can be used to prepare surface-modified clays. Montmorillonite (SWy) treated with choline (Kd = 13,800) and carnitine (Kd = 3960) adsorbed much more AfB1 from aqueous corn flour than the untreated clay (Kd = 944). A choline-treated clay prepared from a reduced-charge, high-charge montmorillonite (Kd = 20,100) adsorbed more AfB1 than the choline-treated high-charge montmorillonite (Kd = 1340) or the untreated montmorillonite (Kd = 293). Surface-modified clay additives prepared using low-charge smectites and nutrient or non-toxic organic compounds might be used to more effectively bind aflatoxins in contaminated feed or food and prevent toxicity.
aflatoxin B1; bentonites; organoclays; activated carbon; adsorption; ELISA
Large deposits of montmorillonite are present on the Earth today and it is believed to have been present at the time of the origin of life and has recently been detected on Mars. It is formed by aqueous weathering of volcanic ash. It catalyses the formation of oligomers of RNA that contain monomer units from 2 to 30–50. Oligomers of this length are formed because this catalyst controls the structure of the oligomers formed and does not generate all possible isomers. Evidence of sequence-, regio- and homochiral selectivity in these oligomers has been obtained. Postulates on the role of selective versus specific catalysts on the origins of life are discussed. An introduction to the origin of life is given with an emphasis on reaction conditions based on the recent data obtained from zircons 4.0–4.5 Ga.
prebiotic; montmorillonite catalysis; ribonucleic acid; origin of life; sequence
A complex mixture of fermentation residues and eutrophication products used commercially as a soil amendment and in various phases of sewage treatment was effective in reducing the electrophoretic mobility of clay minerals (kaolinite and montmorillonite) and cells of Agrobacterium radiobacter. The active fraction(s), which is active at very low concentrations, appears to be a stable (to heat, dialysis, concentration, and storage), net negatively charged polymer which may have several positively charged sites. The material does not significantly alter the viscosity or surface tension of aqueous systems and is probably a microbial metabolite(s).
Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis produces parasporal insecticidal crystal proteins (ICPs) that have larvicidal activity against some members of the order Diptera, such as blackflies and mosquitoes. Hydrolysis of the ICPs in the larval gut results in four major proteins with a molecular mass of 27, 65, 128, and 135 kDa. Toxicity is caused by synergistic interaction between the 25-kDa protein (proteolytic product of the 27-kDa protein) and one or more of the higher-molecular-mass proteins. Equilibrium adsorption of the proteins on the clay minerals montmorillonite and kaolinite, which are homoionic to various cations, was rapid (<30 min for maximal adsorption), increased with protein concentration and then reached a plateau (68 to 96% of the proteins was adsorbed), was significantly lower on kaolinite than on montmorillonite, and was not significantly affected by the valence of the cation to which the clays were homoionic. Binding of the toxins decreased as the pH was increased from 6 to 11, and there was 35 to 66% more binding in phosphate buffer at pH 6 than in distilled water at pH 6 or 7.2. Only 2 to 12% of the adsorbed proteins was desorbed by two washes with water; additional washings desorbed no more toxins, indicating that they were tightly bound. Formation of clay-toxin complexes did not alter the structure of the proteins, as indicated by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of the equilibrium supernatants and desorption washes and by dot blot enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay of the complexes, which was confirmed by enhanced chemiluminescence Western blot analysis. Free and clay-bound toxins resulted in 85 to 100% mortality of the mosquito Culex pipiens. Persistence of the bound toxins in nonsterile water after 45 days was significantly greater (mortality of 63% ± 12.7%) than that of the free toxins (mortality of 25% ± 12.5%).
The soil replica plating technique was used to evaluate the influence of clay minerals and pH on antagonistic interactions between fungi and bacteria in soil. In general, the antagonistic activity of bacteria towards filamentous fungi was greater in soil than on agar. The spread of Aspergillus niger through soil was inhibited by Serratia marcescens when the organisms were inoculated into separate sites in soil, and this antagonistic effect was maintained when the soil was amended with 3, 6, 9, or 12% (vol/vol) montmorillonite, whereas the addition of kaolinite at a concentration of 3% reduced the antagonism and at 6, 9, or 12% totally eliminated it. Similar results were obtained with the inhibition of A. niger by Agrobacterium radiobacter and of Penicillium vermiculatum by either S. marcescens or Nocardia paraffinae. When A. niger and S. marcescens were inoculated into the same soil site, A. niger was inhibited in all soils, regardless of clay content, although the extent of inhibition was greater as the concentration of montmorillonite, but not of kaolinite, increased. A. niger was inhibited more when inoculated as spores than as mycelial fragments and when inoculated 96 h after S. marcescens, but a 1% glucose solution reduced the amount of inhibition when the fungus was inoculated 96 h after the bacterium. When the pH of the soil-clay mixtures was altered, the amount of antagonism usually increased as the pH increased. Antagonism appeared to be related to the cation-exchange capacity and the pH of the soil-clay mixtures. Bacillus cereus and another species of Bacillus showed no activity in soil towards A. niger under any of the environmental conditions tested, even though the Bacillus sp. significantly inhibited A. niger and seven other fungi on agar.
Experiments were conducted to determine the influence of a toxin-producing fungus on a rhizobial population in yeast-mannitol medium and in a tropical soil. The fungus, which was isolated from a highly weathered soil (Tropeptic Eutrustox), was identified as a Metarhizum sp. The density of rhizobial populations established in yeast-mannitol medium in the absence of the fungus was 105 times higher than that established in its presence. However, the fungus did not exert similar antagonistic influence on the rhizobial population incubated with it in the sterilized test soil. Rhizobial growth activity in yeast-mannitol medium was also insensitive to the presence of the fungus when the medium was amended with 1% (wt/vol) kaolinite or montmorillonite. The results suggest that clay minerals may be responsible for protecting rhizobia against toxin-producing fungi in soil.
Smectite clays such as montmorillonite form complexes with a variety of biomolecules, including the nucleic acids DNA and RNA. Most previous studies of DNA adsorption onto clay have relied upon spectrophotometric analysis after separation of free nucleic acids from bound complexes by centrifugation. In the current work we demonstrate that such studies produce a consistent error due to (a) incomplete sedimentation of montmorillonite and (b) strong absorbance of the remaining clay at 260 nm. Clay sedimentation efficiency was strongly dependent upon cation concentration (Na+ or Mg2+) and on the level of dispersion of the original suspension. An improved clay:DNA adsorption assay was developed and utilized to assess the impact of metal counterions on binding of single-stranded DNA to montmorillonite. X-ray diffraction demonstrated, for the first time, formation of intercalated structures consistent with orientation of the DNA strands parallel to the clay surface. Observed gallery spacings were found to closely match values calculated utilizing atomistic modeling techniques.
intercalate; montmorillonite; DNA; molecular modeling; smectite clay
Survival of Escherichia coli MC-6 of fecal origin in an estuarine environment as affected by time, water temperature, dissolved oxygen, salinity, and montmorillonite in diffusion chambers has been elucidated. Several in situ physical parameters were recorded simultaneously, and viable cell numbers were estimated. The survival of the bacteria varied seasonally. Montmorillonite addition extended the time needed for a 50% reduction of the viable cell population (t½) of cells by 40% over the t½ of cells in Rhode River water alone. The effect of this clay was not significantly greater between 50- to 1,000-μg/ml montmorillonite concentrations. In all experiments, the relationships among pairs of variables were studied by regression and correlation analysis. The slope between viable cell numbers and water temperatures increased about 50% for each 10 C increment in temperature and gave a correlation coefficient r = 0.617, significant at 95% confidence level. A similar correlation coefficient, r = 0.670, was obtained between water temperature and t½ of the initial cell population. In all experiments regressions were performed considering all variables after bacteria had been in the Rhode River environment for 3 days. Coefficient of multiple determinaton was estimated as R2 = 0.756. Approximately 75.6% of the variance of viable cell numbers can be explained by variation in water temperature, dissolved oxygen, and salinity. Simple correlation coefficients within the regression steps were also computed. Survival of bacteria was closely and negatively correlated with increasing water temperature (r = -0.717). It is suggested that water temperature is the most important factor in predicting fecal coliform survival from point and nonpoint sources in assessing water quality in an estuarine ecosystem.
The objective of this research was to examine the potential for intercalation of trichloroethene (TCE) by clay minerals associated with aquifer sediments. Sediment samples were collected from a field site in Tucson, AZ. Two widely used Montmorillonite specimen clays were employed as controls. X-ray diffraction, conducted with a controlled-environment chamber, was used to characterize smectite interlayer d-spacing for three treatments (bulk air-dry sample, sample mixed with synthetic groundwater, sample mixed with TCE-saturated synthetic groundwater). The results show that the d-spacing measured for the samples treated with TCE-saturated synthetic groundwater are larger (~26%) than those of the untreated samples for all field samples as well as the specimen clays. These results indicate that TCE was intercalated by the clay minerals, which may have contributed to the extensive elution tailing observed in prior miscible-displacement experiments conducted with this sediment.
Smectite; montmorillonite; clay; sorption; X-ray diffraction
The aim of this work was to investigate the influence of some non-ionic surfactants, Tween 80 and Brij 98, on the viscosity and flow behavior of a commercial montmorillonite clay, Veegum Granules. The effect of different concentrations of the surfactants on the shear stress-shear rate rheograms of hydrated concentrated clay suspensions was determined by shear viscometry. The addition of either surfactant increased the plastic viscosity and the yield stress of the suspensions. Furthermore both surfactants altered the thixotropy of the suspensions to an extent that depended on both the surfactant concentration and the time of equilibration of the surfactant and Veegum. Brij 98 had a greater and more rapid effect. It is proposed that the surfactant polar head-groups anchor at the tetrahedral sheet surface, leaving the alkyl chains extending away from the edges and faces. Consequently, the alkyl chains undergo hydrophobic interactions that facilitate the association between the platelets and increase the physical structure within the suspension. Stereochemical differences between the polar groups may lead to differences in the way the surfactants associate with the tetrahedral sheet and hence their ultimate effect on the rheological behavior. There is a significant interaction between these surfactants and montmorillonite clays, and the rheological changes that occur could have a major impact on any pharmaceutical formulation that uses these ingredients.
Montmorillonite clay; nonionic surfactants; rheology; thixotropy
Coliphages T1 and T7 of Escherichia coli were absorbed by kaolinite (K) and montmorillonite (M). Maximum adsorption of T7 (96%) to M was greater than that of T1 (84%), but the adsorption of both coliphages to K was the same (99%). Positively charged sites (i.e., anion exchange sites) on the clays appeared to be primarily responsible for the adsorption of T1 to K but only partially responsible for the adsorption of T1 to M; equilibrium adsorption isotherms of T1 to K and M did not show a correlation between adsorption and the cation exchange capacity of the clays, and the reduction in adsorption caused by sodium metaphosphate (a polyanion that interacts with positively charged sites on clay) was more pronounced with K than with M. The equilibrium adsorption isotherms of T7 to K and M suggested a correlation between adsorption and the cation exchange capacity of the clays. However, studies with sodium metaphosphate indicated that T7 also adsorbed to positively charged sites on the clays, especially on K. Adsorption of the coliphages to positively charged sites was greater with K than with M, probably because the ratio of positively charged sites to negatively charged sites was greater on K than on M.
The hypothesis of an RNA-based origin of life, known as the "RNA world", is strongly affected by the hostile environmental conditions probably present in the early Earth. In particular, strong UV and X-ray radiations could have been a major obstacle to the formation and evolution of the first biomolecules. In 1951, J. D. Bernal first proposed that clay minerals could have served as the sites of accumulation and protection from degradation of the first biopolymers, providing the right physical setting for the evolution of more complex systems. Numerous subsequent experimental studies have reinforced this hypothesis.
The ability of the possibly widespread prebiotic, clay mineral montmorillonite to protect the catalytic RNA molecule ADHR1 (Adenine Dependent Hairpin Ribozyme 1) from UV-induced damages was experimentally checked. In particular, the self-cleavage reaction of the ribozyme was evaluated after UV-irradiation of the molecule in the absence or presence of clay particles. Results obtained showed a three-fold retention of the self-cleavage activity of the montmorillonite-protected molecule, with respect to the same reaction performed by the ribozyme irradiated in the absence of the clay.
These results provide a suggestion with which RNA, or RNA-like molecules, could have overcame the problem of protection from UV irradiation in the RNA world era, and suggest that a clay-rich environment could have favoured not only the formation of first genetic molecules, but also their evolution towards increasingly complex molecular organization.
The release of transgenic plants and microorganisms expressing truncated genes from various subspecies of Bacillus thuringiensis that encode active insecticidal toxins rather than inactive protoxins could result in the accumulation of these active proteins in soil, especially when bound on clays and other soil particles. Toxins from B. thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki and B. thuringiensis subsp. tenebrionis, either free or adsorbed at equilibrium or bound on pure clay minerals (montmorillonite or kaolinite) or on the clay size fraction of soil, were toxic to larvae of the tobacco hornworm (Manduca sexta) and the Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata), respectively. The 50% lethal concentrations (LC(inf50)) of free toxins from B. thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki were higher than those of both bound and adsorbed complexes of these toxins with clays, indicating that adsorption and binding of these toxins on clays increase their toxicity in diet bioassays. The LC(inf50) of the toxin from B. thuringiensis subsp. tenebrionis that was either free or adsorbed on montmorillonite were comparable, whereas the toxin bound on this clay had higher LC(inf50) and the toxin bound on kaolinite had lower LC(inf50) than when adsorbed on this clay. Results obtained with the clay size fraction separated from unamended soil or soil amended with montmorillonite or kaolinite were similar to those obtained with the respective pure clay minerals. Therefore, insecticidal activity of these toxins is retained and sometimes enhanced by adsorption and binding on clays.
The release of transgenic plants and microorganisms expressing truncated genes from Bacillus thuringiensis that code for active insecticidal toxins rather than for the inactive protoxins could result in the accumulation of these active proteins in soil, especially when bound on clay minerals and other soil particles. To monitor the fate of these toxins in soil, a dot blot enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) that detects free and particle-bound toxins from B. thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki and subsp. tenebrionis was developed. The lower limit of detection of the toxins, either free or adsorbed or bound on the clay minerals montmorillonite (M) or kaolinite (K) or on the clay-particle-size fraction separated from soil (by sedimentation according to Stokes' Law), was approximately 3 ng. Antibodies (Ab) to the toxins from B. thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki and from B. thuringiensis subsp. thuringiensis were raised in goats and rabbits, respectively, and each Ab was rendered specific by adsorption onto CNBr-activated Sepharose coupled with the other toxin. The preadsorbed Ab were specific for the toxins from both subspecies, both free and bound on M, K, or the clay-particle-size fraction of soil. The toxins that were added to sterile and nonsterile soil amended with M or K or not amended were detected on the clay-particle-size fraction of the soil after various periods of incubation by the dot blot ELISA. No toxins were detected on the silt- and sand-particle-size fractions. Each dot blot, containing various amounts of toxins and/or clays, was applied to a polyvinylidene difluoride membrane in a dot blot vacuum system. The toxins were still detectable on the clay-particle-size fraction of nonsterile soil after 40 days. This agreed with preliminary results of other studies in this laboratory that when these toxins bind on clay minerals, they become resistant to utilization by microorganisms.
Diclofenac sodium and alginate was intercalated into montmorillonite to form uniform sized beads by gelation method. The structure and surface morphology of the synthesized composite beads were characterized by powdered X-ray diffraction, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, thermo gravimetric analysis and scanning electron microscopy. Diclofenac release kinetics of the composite in simulated intestinal fluid medium (pH 7.4) and effect of montmorillonite content on the in vitro release of diclofenac from diclofenac-montmorillonite-alginate composites bead was investigated by UV/Vis spectrophotometer. Diclofenac encapsulation efficiency in the montmorillonite-alginate composites bead increases with an increase in the montmorillonite content. The control release of diclofenac from diclofenac-montmorillonite-alginate composites beads was observed to be better as compared to diclofenac-alginate beads.
Control release; composites; diclofenac sodium; montmorillonite
Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) of a small size were successfully synthesized using the wet chemical reduction method into the lamellar space layer of montmorillonite/chitosan (MMT/Cts) as an organomodified mineral solid support in the absence of any heat treatment. AgNO3, MMT, Cts, and NaBH4 were used as the silver precursor, the solid support, the natural polymeric stabilizer, and the chemical reduction agent, respectively. MMT was suspended in aqueous AgNO3/Cts solution. The interlamellar space limits were changed (d-spacing = 1.24–1.54 nm); therefore, AgNPs formed on the interlayer and external surface of MMT/Cts with d-average = 6.28–9.84 nm diameter. Characterizations were done using different methods, ie, ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy, powder X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometry, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Silver/montmorillonite/chitosan bionanocomposite (Ag/MMT/Cts BNC) systems were examined. The antibacterial activity of AgNPs in MMT/Cts was investigated against Gram-positive bacteria, ie, Staphylococcus aureus and methicillin-resistant S. aureus and Gram-negative bacteria, ie, Escherichia coli, E. coli O157:H7, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa by the disc diffusion method using Mueller Hinton agar at different sizes of AgNPs. All of the synthesized Ag/MMT/Cts BNCs were found to have high antibacterial activity. These results show that Ag/MMT/Cts BNCs can be useful in different biological research and biomedical applications, including surgical devices and drug delivery vehicles.
silver nanoparticles; bionanocomposites; montmorillonite; chitosan; antibacterial activity; Mueller Hinton agar
Fungi (Rhizopus stolonifer, Trichoderma viride, Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. conglutinans, Cunninghamella echinulata, and several species of Aspergillus and Penicillium) tolerated higher concentrations of cadmium (Cd) when grown in soil than when grown on laboratory media, indicating that soil mitigated the toxic effects of Cd. In soil amended with clay minerals, montmorillonite provided partial or total protection against fungistatic effects of Cd, whereas additions of kaolinite provided little or no protection. Growth rates of Aspergillus niger were inhibited to a greater extent by 100 or 250 μg of Cd per g in soil adjusted to pH 7.2 than in the same soil at its natural pH of 5.1. However, there were no differences in the growth rates of Aspergillus fischeri with 100 or 250 μg of Cd per g in the same soil, whether at pH 5.1 or adjusted to pH 7.2. Growth of A. niger and A. fischeri in a soil contaminated with a low concentration of Cd (i.e., 28 μg/g), obtained from a site near a Japanese smelter, did not differ significantly from growth in a soil collected some distance away and containing 4 μg of Cd per g. Growth of A. niger in sterile soil amended with 100 μg of Cd per g and inoculated with Bacillus cereus or Agrobacterium tumefaciens was reduced to a greater extent than in the same soil containing 100 μg of Cd per g but no bacteria. The inhibitory effects of Agrobacterium radiobacter to A. niger were slightly reduced in the presence of 100 μg of Cd per g, whereas the inhibitory effects of Serratia marcescens were enhanced.
The dispersion-aggregation behaviors of suspended colloids in rivers and estuaries are affected by the compositions of suspended materials (i.e., clay minerals vs. organic macromolecules) and salinity. Laboratory experiments were conducted to investigate the dispersion and aggregation mechanisms of suspended particles under simulated river and estuarine conditions. The average hydrodynamic diameters of suspended particles (representing degree of aggregation) and zeta potential (representing the electrokinetic properties of suspended colloids and aggregates) were determined for systems containing suspended montmorillonite, humic acid, and/or chitin at the circumneutral pH over a range of salinity (0 – 7.2 psu).
The montmorillonite-only system increased the degree of aggregation with salinity increase, as would be expected for suspended colloids whose dispersion-aggregation behavior is largely controlled by the surface electrostatic properties and van der Waals forces. When montmorillonite is combined with humic acid or chitin, the aggregation of montmorillonite was effectively inhibited. The surface interaction energy model calculations reveal that the steric repulsion, rather than the increase in electronegativity, is the primary cause for the inhibition of aggregation by the addition of humic acid or chitin.
These results help explain the range of dispersion-aggregation behaviors observed in natural river and estuarine systems. It is postulated that the composition of suspended particles, specifically the availability of steric polymers such as those contained in humic acid, determine whether the river suspension is rapidly aggregated and settled or remains dispersed in suspension when it encounters increasingly saline environments of estuaries and oceans.