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Chemical Transformation Of Toxic Metals By A Psuedomonas Strain From A Toxic Waste Site

D. Choate, R. C. Blake, N. Revis
Published 1991 · Chemistry

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Pseudomonas maltophilia, 0-2, isolated from soil at a toxic waste site in Oak Ridge, TN, catalyzed the transformation and precipitation of numerous toxic metal cations and oxyanions. When a viable inoculum (1%) of 0-2 was introduced into LB broth containing 0.2 mM Hg(II), 1 mM Cr(VI), 40 mM Se(IV), 3 mM Pb(II), 3mM Au(III), 3mM Cd(II), 10mM Te(IV), or 4mM Ag(I), effective removal of the toxic metal was complete within 1, 1, 2, 2, 2, 4, 5, and 7 days, respectively. The NADPH-dependent reduction of Hg(II) was catalyzed by an inducible mercuric reductase. The reduction of selenite and tellurite to their insoluble elemental forms appeared to be mediated by an intracellular glutathione reductase that utilized the spontaneously-formed bis(glutathio)Se or bis(glutathio)Te, respectively, as pseudosubstrates. The biomolecules responsible for the remaining metal transformations are currently under investigation. This project could provide useful information toward the eventual exploitation of P. maltophilia and related organisms for the removal of toxic metal wastes from selected, heavily polluted sites.
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