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Journal of Environmental Radioactivity
Volume 237, 2021, 106696

A new era of radiation resistance bacteria in bioremediation and production of bioactive compounds with therapeutic potential and other aspects: An in-perspective review

Tilak Nayak1, Indraneel Sengupta1, Paltu KumarDhal

Department of Life Science and Biotechnology, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, 700032, India.


Microorganisms that survive in extreme environmental conditions are known as ‘extremophiles’. Recently, extremophiles draw an impression in biotechnology/pharmaceutical researches/industries because of their novel molecules, known as ‘extremolytes’. The intriguing phenomenon of microbial radiation resistance probably arose independently throughout their evolution of selective pressures (e.g. UV, X-ray, Gamma radiation etc.). Radiation produces multiple types of damage/oxidation to nucleic acids, proteins and other crucial cellular components. Most of the literature on microbial radiation resistance is based on acute γ-irradiation experiments performed in the laboratory, typically involving pure cultures isolation and their application on bioremediation/therapeutic field. There is much less information other than bioremediation and therapeutic application of such promising microbes we called as ‘new era’. Here we discus origin and diversity of radiation resistance bacteria as well as selective mechanisms by which microorganisms can sustain in radiation rich environment. Potential uses of these radiations resistant microbes in the field of bioremediation, bioactive compounds and therapeutic industry. Last but not the least, which is the new aspect of radiation resistance microbes. Our review suggest that resistance to chronic radiation is not limited to rare specialized strains from extreme environments, but can occur among common microbial taxa, perhaps due to overlap molecular mechanisms of resistance to radiation and other stressors. These stress tolerance potential make them potential for radionuclides remediation, their extremolytes can be useful as anti-oxidant and anti-proliferative agents. In current scenario they can be useful in various fields from natural dye synthesis to nanoparticles production and anti-cancer treatment.

Keywords: Radiation, Radionuclides, Radiation resistance bacteria, Extremolytes, Bioremediation, Bioactive compound.

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