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World J Microbiol Biotechnol. 2012 May;28(5):2287-92. doi: 10.1007/s11274-012-1034-1. Epub 2012 Mar 16.

Phylogenetic and phenotypic analyses of arsenic-reducing bacteria isolated from an old tin mine area in Thailand.

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Department of Soil Science and Center for Advanced Studies in Agriculture and Food, KU Institute for Advanced Studies, Kasetsart University, 50 Phahon Yothin Rd., Cha-Tuchak, Bangkok 10900, Thailand.


An agar plate screening assay was used to determine whether 100 arsenic-resistant bacterial isolates, previously obtained from arsenic-contaminated soils, had the ability to transform arsenite and arsenate. Ninety-five percent of the isolates were capable of reducing arsenate on agar plates. The isolates also grew in the presence of high concentrations of arsenite, but none of the bacterial isolates oxidized arsenite to arsenate under the growth conditions tested. About 14 % (13 of 95) of the tested isolates transformed high levels of arsenate (33-70 μM) when tested using the molybdenum blue method. Partial sequence analysis of 16S rDNA genes indicated that the isolates belonged to two broad taxonomic groups: Firmicutes and Proteobacteria. Ten isolates were assigned to four species in the genus Bacillus, and three isolates belonged to two species in the genera Enterobacter and Ochrobactrum. Taken together these results indicate that phylogenetically diverse bacteria isolated from arsenic-contaminated soils in an old tin mine area in Thailand have the ability to transform arsenate to arsenite.

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