Title: Actinobacteria are better bioremediating agents for removal of toxic heavy metals: an overview

Authors: Krishnan Kannabiran

Addresses: Department of Biomedical Sciences, School of Biosciences and Technology, VIT University, Vellore-632 014, Tamil Nadu, India

Abstract: Accumulation of high concentrations of heavy metals in soil and environment affects both humans and microorganisms. Heavy metals get accumulated within the tissues of the organism and at various levels of the ecological chain; leads to decrease in the biomass and biological diversity by affecting the growth, morphology, and activity of the organism. Removal of hazardous heavy metals and radionuclide-contamination through biological means is of current importance. Bioremediation using microorganisms is considered as safe and more efficient. Actinobacteria, the most important groups of microbes, are responsible for degradation and transformation of organic and metal substrates and also possess significant bioremediation potential. It can degrade high doses of pesticides, chemical complexes, and heavy metals. Actinomycetes utilise toxins as carbon sources and in turn synthesise commercially viable antibiotics, enzymes and proteins. In this review, the efficacy of actinomycetes in bioremediation of heavy metals such as copper, chromium, mercury, lead, zinc, and cadmium was discussed.

Keywords: actinobacteria; microbial; bioremediation; toxic heavy metals; heavy metal resistance; Streptomyces; environmental pollution; soil contamination.

DOI: 10.1504/IJETM.2017.10010678

International Journal of Environmental Technology and Management, 2017 Vol.20 No.3/4, pp.129 - 138

Accepted: 08 Aug 2017
Published online: 26 Jan 2018 *

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