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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 1998 May 1;162(1):177-84.

Mercury-resistant actinomycetes from the Chesapeake Bay.

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Center of Marine Biotechnology, University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, Baltimore, MD 21202, USA.


Two actinomycete strains, CHR3 and CHR28, were isolated from metal-contaminated sediments from Baltimore Inner Harbor. The isolates were classified as Streptomyces spp. Agar diffusion assays showed both isolates to be resistant to mercuric chloride and phenylmercuric acetate. Hybridization experiments indicated that genes homologous to the mercuric reductase and organomercurial lyase of Streptomyces lividans 1326 were present in strains CHR3 and CHR28. Strain CHR28 grew at both low and high salt concentrations; however, strain CHR3 showed enhanced growth in the presence of salt, evidence of its habitat being marine or estuarine sediment.

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