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J Environ Sci Health A Tox Hazard Subst Environ Eng
Vol. 73, No. 1, 2009; Pages: 71–133

Arsenic accumulating and transforming bacteria isolated from contaminated soil for potential use in bioremediation

Banerjee S, Datta S, Chattyopadhyay D, Sarkar P

Department of Polymer Science and Technology, University of Calcutta, Kolkata, India.


Arsenic (As) is a metalloid and considered harmful due to its toxic and carcinogenic effects. Removal of arsenic is of great importance for human welfare. The main objective of this study was to isolate arsenic-resistant bacteria that are capable of removing arsenic from the environment. Soil samples were collected from an arsenic-affected area of West Bengal, India and 10 different bacterial strains were isolated. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values of the isolates varied widely in the range 50-125 mM (As) as arsenate and 10-100 mM (As) as arsenite. TEM and EDAX analysis were done to confirm intracellular accumulation of arsenic. The 16s RNA and phylogenetic analysis showed that seven isolates belonged to γ-proteobacterium, two isolates belonged to Firmicutes and one was identified as Kocuria genera. Some of these bacteria could oxidize arsenite to arsenate and all others could reduce arsenate to arsenite. The growth pattern of the bacterial strains in presence and absence of arsenic was also observed. All the 10 isolates exhibited multiple heavy metal (like Ni, Zn, Cu, Pb, Co, etc.) tolerances. Thus, these new bacterial strains could conveniently be used for bioremediation of soil and effluents and the enzymes produced by them may be used for commercial exploitation.



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