The polar polysaccharide capsule of Hyphomonas adhaerens MHS-3 has a strong affinity for gold

J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol. 2001 Jul;27(1):1-4. doi: 10.1038/sj.jim.7000143.


Select groups of bacteria, including prothescate species, have an unusual capacity to sequester gold and bioconcentrate it to very high levels. Hyphomonas adhaerens MHS-3 (MHS-3) is one such species, as demonstrated by Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy. Transmission electron microscopy revealed that the binding site was specific on the polar polysaccharide capsule. A capsuleless mutant and periodate-treated wild type did not sequester gold. The gold may interact with the same sites in the capsule that naturally adhere MHS-3 to surfaces in the marine environment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Alphaproteobacteria / genetics
  • Alphaproteobacteria / metabolism*
  • Bacterial Capsules / genetics
  • Bacterial Capsules / metabolism*
  • Gold Colloid / metabolism*
  • Microscopy, Electron / methods


  • Gold Colloid