Shigeki Yamamura, Seigo Amachi. Microbiology of inorganic arsenic: From metabolism to bioremediation. Journal of Bioscience & Bioengineering. Jul2014, Vol. 118 Issue 1, p1-9
Arsenic (As) contamination of drinking water and soils poses a threat to a large number of people worldwide, especially in Southeast Asia. The predominant forms of As in soils and aquifers are inorganic arsenate [As(V)] and arsenite [As(III)], with the latter being more mobile and toxic. Thus, redox transformations of As are of great importance to predict its fate in the environment, as well as to achieve remediation of As-contaminated water and soils. Although As has been recognized as a toxic element, a wide variety of microorganisms, mainly bacteria, can use it as an electron donor for autotrophic growth or as an electron acceptor for anaerobic respiration. In addition, As detoxification systems in which As is oxidized to the less toxic form or reduced for subsequent excretion are distributed widely in microorganisms. This review describes current development of physiology, biochemistry, and genomics of arsenic-transforming bacteria. Potential application of such bacteria to removal of As from soils and water is also highlighted.
Click here for paper (Open Access).