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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2006 Dec;72(12):7873-8. Epub 2006 Oct 20.

Engineering of Deinococcus radiodurans R1 for bioprecipitation of uranium from dilute nuclear waste.

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  • 1Molecular Biology Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Trombay, Mumbai 400 085, India.

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  • Appl Environ Microbiol. 2007 Feb;73(4):1393.


Genetic engineering of radiation-resistant organisms to recover radionuclides/heavy metals from radioactive wastes is an attractive proposition. We have constructed a Deinococcus radiodurans strain harboring phoN, a gene encoding a nonspecific acid phosphatase, obtained from a local isolate of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi. The recombinant strain expressed an approximately 27-kDa active PhoN protein and efficiently precipitated over 90% of the uranium from a 0.8 mM uranyl nitrate solution in 6 h. The engineered strain retained uranium bioprecipitation ability even after exposure to 6 kGy of 60Co gamma rays. The PhoN-expressing D. radiodurans offers an effective and eco-friendly in situ approach to biorecovery of uranium from dilute nuclear waste.

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