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Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 1996 Jan;44(5):683-8.

Isolation of hexavalent chromium-reducing anaerobes from hexavalent-chromium-contaminated and noncontaminated environments.

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  • 1Idaho National Engineering Laboratory, Center for Industrial Biotechnology, Idaho Falls 83415-2203, USA.


Hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)], is a toxic, water-soluble contaminant present in many soils and industrial effluents. Bacteria from various soils were examined for Cr(VI) resistance and reducing potential. Microbes selected from both Cr(VI)-contaminated and -noncontaminated soils and sediments were capable of catalyzing the reduction of Cr(VI) to Cr(III) a less toxic, less water-soluble form of Cr, demonstrating the utility of using a selection strategy for indigenous Cr(VI)-reducing bacteria in a bioprocess. As a result, indigenous Cr(VI)- reducing microbes from contaminated sites should provide the means for developing a bioprocess to reduce Cr(VI) to Cr(III) in nonsterile effluents such as those from soil washes. This approach also avoids the contamination problems associated with pure cultures of allochthonous microorganisms. In addition the apparent ubiquity of Cr(VI)-reducing bacteria in soil and sediments indicates potential for in situ bioremediation of Cr(VI)-contaminated soils and ground water.

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