Electrical discharges in water induce spores' DNA damage

Abstract : Bacterial spores are one of the most resilient life forms on earth and are involved in many human diseases, such as infectious diarrhea, fatal paralytic illnesses and respiratory infections. Here, we investigated the mechanisms involved in the death of Bacillus pumilus spores after exposure to electric arcs in water. Cutting-edge microscopies at the nanoscale did not reveal any structural disorganization of spores exposed to electric arcs. This result suggested the absence of physical destruction by a propagating shock wave or an exposure to an electric field. However, Pulsed-Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE) revealed genomic DNA damage induced by UV radiation and Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS). UV induced single-strand DNA breaks and thymine dimers while ROS were mainly involved in base exci-sion. Our findings revealed a correlation between DNA damage and the treatment of spores with electrical discharges.
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Camille Lamarche, Charlotte da Silva, Gauthier Demol, Etienne Dague, Marie-Pierre Rols, et al.. Electrical discharges in water induce spores' DNA damage. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2018, ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0201448⟩. ⟨hal-01907680⟩

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