Bioremediation of mercury: not properly exploited in contaminated soils!

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Journal Article
Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 2017, 101 (3), pp. 963 - 976
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© 2017, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Contamination of land and water caused by heavy metal mercury (Hg) poses a serious threat to biota worldwide. The seriousness of toxicity of this neurotoxin is characterized by its ability to augment in food chains and bind to thiol groups in living tissue. Therefore, different remediation approaches have been implemented to rehabilitate Hg-contaminated sites. Bioremediation is considered as cheaper and greener technology than the conventional physico-chemical means. Large-scale use of Hg-volatilizing bacteria are used to clean up Hg-contaminated waters, but there is no such approach to remediate Hg-contaminated soils. This review focuses on recent uses of Hg-resistant bacteria in bioremediation of mercury-contaminated sites, limitation and advantages of this approach, and identifies the gaps in existing research.
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