A mini review: Metal remediation by microbes and plants

Paper Details

Review Paper 01/08/2014
Views (161) Download (4)

A mini review: Metal remediation by microbes and plants

Simin Yazdanpanah, Peyman Rajaei
J. Bio. Env. Sci.5( 2), 222-226, August 2014.
Certificate: JBES 2014 [Generate Certificate]


Heavy metals are found naturally in the earth. In very small amounts, many of these metals are necessary to support life. However, in larger amounts, they become toxic. The microorganisms may be indigenous to a contaminated area or they may be isolated from elsewhere and brought to thecontaminated site. Binding of metal elements to bacterial surface is due to the anionic properties of the bacterial envelope that is able to absorb metal cations. Phytoremediation is the name given to a set of technologies that use different plants as a containment, destruction, or an extraction technique. Phytoremediation efforts have largely focused on the use of plants to accelerate degradation of organic contaminants, usually in concert with root rhizosphere microorganisms, or remove hazardous heavy metals from soils or water. Phytoremediation consists of different plant-based technologies such as rhizofiltration, phytoextraction, phytodegradation, phytostabilization, phytovolatization, and phytorestoration.


Ali H, Khan E, Sajad MA. 2013. Phytoremediation of heavy metals—Concepts and applications. Chemosphere 91, 869–881. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2013.01.075

Bauelos GS, Meek DW. 1990. Accumulation of selenium in plants grown on selenium-treated soil. Journal of Environmental Quality19, 772. http://dx.doi.org/10.2134/jeq1990.00472425001900 040023x

Blaylock M, Salt D, Dushenkov S, Zakharova O, Gussman C, Kapulnik Y, Ensley B, Raskin I. 1997. Enhanced accumulation of Pb in Indian mustard by soil-applied chelating agents. Environmental Science and Technology 31, 860-865. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/es960552a

Crowley DE, Wang YC, Reid CPP, Szaniszlo PJ. 1991. Mechanisms of iron acquisition from siderophores by microorganisms and plants. Plant Soil 130, 179–198.

Dushenkov, Viatcheslav, Harry Motto, Ilya Raskin, and P.b.a. Nanda Kumar. 1995. Rhizofiltration: the Use of Plants to Remove Heavy Metals From Aqueous Streams.Environmental Science Technology 30, 1239-1245. http://dx.doi.org/ 10.1021/es00005a015

Ehrlich HL and Fox SI. 1967. Copper sulphide precipitation by yeasts from acid mine-waters. Applied Microbiology 15, 135-139. http://dx.doi.org/ 02/1967; 15(1):135-9

Fox B, Walsh CT. 1982. Mercuric reductase. Purification and characterization of a transposon-encoded flavoprotein containing an oxidation- reduction-active disulfide. The Journal of Biological Chemistry 253, 4341–4348.

Guerinot ML, Yi Y. 1994. Iron: nutritious, noxious, and not readily available. Plant Physiology 104, 815– 820.

Gunasekaran P, Muthukrishnan J, Rajendran P.  2003. Microbes in Heavy Metal Remediation. Indian Journal of Experimental Biology 41, 935-944.

Kramer U, Cotter-Howells JD, Charnock JM, Baker A, Smith A. 1996.  Free histidine as a metal chelator in plants that accumulate nickel. Nature 379, 635–638. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/379635a0

Lombi E, Zhao F, McGrath S, Young S, Sacchi G .2001. Physiological evidence for a high-affinity cadmium transporter highly expressed in a Thlaspi caerulescens ecotype. New Phytologist 149, 53-60. http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1469-8137.2001.00003.x

Lombi E, Zhao FJ, Dunham SJ, McGrath SP .2001. Phytoremediation of heavy metalcontaminated soils: natural hyperaccumulation versus chemically enhanced phytoextraction. Journal of Environmental Quality 30, 1919-1926

Marschner H. 1995. Mineral Nutrition of Higher Plants, edn 2. London,San Diego: Academic Press

McGrath SP, Zhao FJ. 2003. Phytoextraction of metals and metalloids from contaminated soils. Current Opinion of Biotechnology 14, 277-282. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0958-1669 (03)00060-0

Pearson RG. 1969. Hard and soft acids and bases, Survey of Progress in Chemistry 5, pp1-52.

Philip L, Iyengar L, Venkobacher L.2000. Site o f interaction of copper on Bacillus polymyxa. Water A ir Soil Pollution 119: pp 11-21.

Sar P, Kazy SK, Asthana RK, Singh SP.1999. Metal adsorption and desorption by lyophilized Pseudomonas aeruginosa. International Biodeterio-ration and Biodegradation 44, pp 101-110.

Robinson NJ, Tommey AM, Kuske C, Jackson PJ.1993. Plant metallothioneins. Biochemistry 295, 1–10.

Rubin E, Ramaswami A .2001. The potential for phytoremediation of MTBE. Water Research 35,  1348-1353. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0043-1354 (00)00555-8

Ruiz ON, Hussein HS,  Terry N, Daniell H. 2003. Phytoremediation of organomercurial compounds via chloroplast genetic engineering. Plant Physiology 132, 1344-1352 http://dx.doi.org/10.1104/pp.103.020958

Salt DE, Smith RD, Raskin I. 1998. Phytoremediation. Annual Review of Plant Physiology and Plant Molecular Biology 49, 643-668. http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev.arplant.49.1.643

Sandaa R, Torsvik V, Enger O, Daae FL, Castberg T, Hahn D. 1999. Analysis of bacterial communities in heavy metal-contaminated soils at different levels of resolution. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 30, 237-251.

Sar P, D’Souza SF. 2001. Biosorptive uranium uptake by Pseudomonas strain: Characterization and equilibrium studies. Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology 76, 1286-1 294.

Turgut C, Pepe KM, Cutright TJ. 2004. The effect of EDTA and citric acid on phytoremediation of Cd, Cr, and Ni from soil using Helianthus annuus. Environ Pollution 131,147-154. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2004.01.017