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Production of selenium nanoparticles in Pseudomonas putida KT2440

Jimenez, JI, Avendaño, R, Chaves, N, Fuentes, P, Sánchez, E, Jiménez, JI and Chavarría, M (2016) Production of selenium nanoparticles in Pseudomonas putida KT2440 Scientific Reports, 6, 37155.

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Selenium (Se) is an essential element for the cell that has multiple applications in medicine and technology; microorganisms play an important role in Se transformations in the environment. Here we report the previously unidentified ability of the soil bacterium Pseudomonas putida KT2440 to synthesize nanoparticles of elemental selenium (nano-Se) from selenite. Our results show that P. putida is able to reduce selenite aerobically, but not selenate, to nano-Se. Kinetic analysis indicates that, in LB medium supplemented with selenite (1 mM), reduction to nano-Se occurs at a rate of 0.444 mmol L-1 h-1 beginning in the middle-exponential phase and with a final conversion yield of 89%. Measurements with a transmission electron microscope (TEM) show that nano-Se particles synthesized by P. putida have a size range of 100 to 500 nm and that they are located in the surrounding medium or bound to the cell membrane. Experiments involving dynamic light scattering (DLS) show that, in aqueous solution, recovered nano-Se particles have a size range of 70 to 360 nm. The rapid kinetics of conversion, easy retrieval of nano-Se and the metabolic versatility of P. putida offer the opportunity to use this model organism as a microbial factory for production of selenium nanoparticles.

Item Type: Article
Subjects : Biosciences and Medicine
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Biosciences and Medicine
Authors :
Jimenez, JI
Avendaño, R
Chaves, N
Fuentes, P
Sánchez, E
Jiménez, JI
Chavarría, M
Date : 15 November 2016
DOI : 10.1038/srep37155
Copyright Disclaimer : This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit
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Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 25 Oct 2016 16:53
Last Modified : 01 Dec 2016 10:16

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