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Growth Characteristics, Metal Uptake and Expression Analysis of Copper Metallothionein in a Newly Reported Ciliate, Tetrahymena farahensis

Growth Characteristics, Metal Uptake and Expression Analysis of Copper Metallothionein in a Newly Reported Ciliate, Tetrahymena farahensis

Muhammad Tariq Zahid1, Farah Rauf Shakoori2, Soumble Zulfiqar3, Khalid A. Al-Ghanim4 and Abdul Rauf Shakoori3,4*

1 Department of Zoology, Government College University, Katchery Road, Lahore
2 Department of Zoology, University of the Punjab, Quaid-i-Azam Campus, Lahore 54590
3 School of Biological Sciences, University of the Punjab, Quaid-i-Azam Campus, Lahore 54590
4Department of Zoology, College of Science, King Saud University, P. O. Box 2455, Riyadh 11451, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

*      Corresponding author: arshakoori.sbs@pu.edu.pk, arshaksbs@yahoo.com

 

ABSTRACT

The present study describes the role of a novel metallothionein in copper homeostasis in a newly discovered ciliate Tetrahymena farahensis. The ciliate showed optimum growth at 27±1°C and pH 7.0 to 7.5. The maximum resistance dose of copper for T. farahensis was found to be 8, 9 and 80 µg/ml in wheat grain medium, Bold-basal salt medium and modified Neff’s medium, respectively. T. farahensis exhibited significant copper storage ability removing 54.9 % copper from medium within 96 h of 30 µg/ml copper stress. The maximum uptake rate was observed within 30 min of copper administration in response to 5-100 µg Cu++/ml in the medium. Quantitative analysis showed that TfCuMT is a copper inducible gene, the basal transcriptional level of which increased within 15 min of 10 µg/ml copper exposure upto 87.3 folds that later on decreased. Accordingly, maximum uptake rate was observed between 15 to 30 min of copper exposure indicating possible role of TfCuMT as copper metallothionein. T. farahensis and TfCuMT can be used as biotechnological tools for bioremediation.
 

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology

December

Vol. 51, Iss. 6, Pages 1999-2399

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