Investigating the Interaction Between Streptomyces sp. and Titania/Silica Nanospheres

  • Adrian Augustyniak
  • Krzysztof Cendrowski
  • Paweł Nawrotek
  • Martyna Barylak
  • Ewa Mijowska


Titania/silica nanomaterials have many possible applications; however, they can be toxic to living organisms, particularly if the material accumulates in niche environments, e.g. areas colonised by actinomycetes. This study therefore investigated the effect of non-activated and UV light-activated titania/silica nanospheres on an environmental Streptomyces strain. The bacteria were incubated with the nanospheres and subsequently cultured on solid medium. The morphology and elemental composition were analysed using optical and electron microscopy (TEM, STEM) and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX). The appearance of Streptomyces sp. in the experimental and control samples demonstrated that the nanospheres did not have bactericidal properties in the used dose. Furthermore, the observed strain not only survived in the presence of the nanomaterial but also appeared to play a role in its dissolution with an accumulation of the titanium in the intracellular globules of polyphosphate (volutin). Additionally, it was discovered that the UV light-activated titanium dioxide altered the ability of the bacteria to secrete humic acid. The reported phenomenon might be made possible through an accumulation of titanium in the volutin compounds. These findings suggest that streptomycetes could be employed to participate in the dissolution of nanomaterials which enter the natural environment.


Streptomyces sp. Nanomaterials Titania/silica nanospheres Stimulation Dissolution 



The authors are grateful for the financial support of the National Science Centre Poland within the PRELUDIUM Programme (2011/03/N/ST5/04696). We also thank Dr. Jonathan Winfield for his assistance in improvement of the text’s clarity and language.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11270_2016_2922_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (355 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 354 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adrian Augustyniak
    • 1
  • Krzysztof Cendrowski
    • 2
  • Paweł Nawrotek
    • 1
  • Martyna Barylak
    • 2
  • Ewa Mijowska
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Immunology, Microbiology and Physiological Chemistry, Faculty of Biotechnology and Animal HusbandryWest Pomeranian University of TechnologySzczecinPoland
  2. 2.Institute of Chemical and Environment EngineeringWest Pomeranian University of TechnologySzczecinPoland

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