Zinc bioaccumulation by microbial consortium isolated from nickel smelter sludge disposal site

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Abstract

Heavy metal pollution is one of the most important environmental issues of today. Bioremediation by microorganisms is one of technologies extensively used for pollution treatment. In this study, we investigated the heavy metal resistance and zinc bioaccumulation by microbial consortium isolated from nickel sludge disposal site near Sereď (Slovakia). The composition of consortium was analyzed based on MALDI-TOF MS of cultivable bacteria and we have shown that the consortium was dominated by bacteria of genus Arthrobacter. While consortium showed very good growth in the zinc presence, it was able to remove only 15 % of zinc from liquid media. Selected members of consortia have shown lower growth rates in the zinc presence but selected isolates have shown much higher bioaccumulation abilities compared to whole consortium (up to 90 % of zinc removal for NH1 strain). Bioremediation is frequently accelerated through injection of native microbiota into a contaminated area. Based on data obtained in this study, we can conclude that careful selection of native microbiota could lead to the identification of bacteria with increased bioaccumulation abilities.

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