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Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology
Vol. 43, No. 11, 2013; Pages: 1162-1222 

Microbial Metal Bioaccumulation

Abhishek Mishraa & Anushree Malika

Applied Microbiology Lab, Centre for Rural Development and Technology, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, New Delhi, India.


Removal of hazardous metals through biological means has received considerable attention in the last few decades. Nevertheless, only a fraction of these studies employed growing microbial cells that harbor multiple mechanisms of metal sequestration and thus may hold greater metaluptake capacities. The authors summarize the studies concerning response of growing cells tometals toxicity in terms of growth rate, biomass production, and morphological/structural adaptations along with latest reports involving genomics and proteomics approach. The studies indicate bright potential of metal resistant strains or strains with hormesis phenomenon for field application. In the second part of the review they focuses on the effect of nutritional conditions and process parameters on metal removal capacities and the performance in simultaneous removal of multiple pollutants. Reports demonstrating effective treatment of actual industrial effluents using growing cells have been summarized. With ample evidence available on the success of growing cells in metal bioremediation, the development and testing of large scale industrial bioreactors is warranted.

Keywords:bacteria; bioaccumulation; biomass; fungi; metals; MIC.

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