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Gene Transfer In Polluted Soils

M. Mergeay, D. Springael, E. Top
Published 1990 · Environmental Science

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In polluted soils, biological processes are severely impaired due to the presence of two types of xenobiotics:1 namely toxic inorganic compounds such as heavy metals, and toxic organic pollutants such as man-made chemicals. The presence of such substances in the environment provides new selection pressures for microorganisms and has led to the development of bacteria with new degradative capacities and resistance mechanisms. On the other hand, the presence of these toxic compounds has an important impact on the resident microflora which seems to be much less varied in polluted areas than in non-polluted sites.2
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