Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2019, Article ID 2483060, 7 pages
Research Article

Reactions of Microorganisms with Atomic Oxygen Radical Anions: Damage of Cells and Irreversible Inactivation

1Department of Applied Chemistry, School of Science, Anhui Agricultural of University, Hefei, Anhui 230023, China
2Soil and Fertilizer Institute of Anhui Academy of Agricultural Science, Hefei, Anhui 230001, China
3Anhui JUKAI Agrochemical Co., LTD., Hefei, Anhui 230088, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Longchun Li; moc.361@57hcll and Yixiang Sun; moc.621@gnaixiynus

Received 18 July 2019; Accepted 28 August 2019; Published 3 November 2019

Guest Editor: Yunpan Ying

Copyright © 2019 Longchun Li et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Reactive oxygen species play important effects on organisms not only in vivo but also in vitro. The atomic oxygen radical anion (O-) has shown extremely high oxidation and reactivity towards small molecules of hydrocarbons. However, the O- effects on cells of microorganisms are scarcely investigated. This work showed the evidence that O- could react quickly with microorganisms (Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus, Aspergillus niger, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and Actinomycetes (5046)) and damaged the cell walls seriously as well as their intrinsic structures, arising a fast and irreversible inactivation. SEM and TEM micrographs were used to reveal the structure changes of cells before and after reacting with O- radicals. The inactivation efficiencies of the microorganisms depended on the O- intensity, the initial population of microorganisms, the exposed area, the environment, and the microorganisms’ types. Over 99% reduction of an initial colony-forming unit (cfu), E. coli population only required less than 2 minutes while exposed to a 0.23 μA/cm2 O- flux under dry argon atmosphere (30°C, 1 atm). The observation of anionic intermediates (CO-, CO2-, H2O-, and anionic hydrocarbons) by time-of-flight (TOF) mass spectrometry and the neutral volatile products (CO, CO2, and H2O) by quadrupole mass spectrometry (Q-MS) provided an evidence of the reactions of O- with hydrocarbon bonds of the microorganisms. The inactivation mechanism of microorganisms induced by O- was discussed.