Nickel Pollution, Resistance and its Bioremediation Mechanisms – A Review

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Review Paper 01/03/2021
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Nickel Pollution, Resistance and its Bioremediation Mechanisms – A Review

Zarka Babar, Arsalan Fazal, Maryam Khan, Saba Shamim
Int. J. Biosci.18( 3), 74-88, March 2021.
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Nickel (Ni) is an essential element which is required in low, controlled amounts for various cellular process in both the human body and in microorganisms, respectively, where it also serves its function as a cofactor for the regulation of many different enzymes, including hydrogenases and ureases. In the environment, its presence owing to anthropogenic activities over many decades has resulted in its accumulation at potentially high levels, which has since given rise to different resistance mechanisms in microbial species having adapted themselves for their survival in environmentally high Ni concentrations. In the wake of high metal concentration inside the cell, many Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial species have resistance mechanisms that degrade, precipitate, or pump out the toxic heavy metal ions out from the cell. In this review, we summarize the various mechanisms that enable the entry of Ni ions into bacterial cells when it is needed for biological processes, its resistance and efflux systems, as well as the various studies which have reported its bioremediation by both Gram-positive and negative bacteria, respectively, thus presenting these Ni-resistant bacterial species as potential candidates for the efficient removal of Ni from Ni-polluted environments.


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