Heavy metal accumulation by bacteria and other microorganisms

G. M. Gadd (Lead / Corresponding author)

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    466 Citations (Scopus)


    Bacteria, and other microorganisms, exhibit a number of metabolism-dependent and-independent processes or the uptake and accumulation of heavy metals and radionuclides. The removal of such harmful substances from effluents and waste waters by microbe-based technologies may provide an alternative or additional means of metal/radionuclide recovery for economic reasons and/or environmental protection. Both living and dead cells as well as products derived from or produced by microorganisms can be effective metal accumulators and there is evidence that some biomass-based clean-up processes are economically viable. However, many aspects of metal-microbe interactions remain unexploited in biotechnology and further development and application is necessary, particularly to the problem of radionuclide release into the environment.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)834-840
    Number of pages7
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 1990


    • accumulation
    • algae
    • bacteria
    • biosorption
    • fungi
    • Heavy metals
    • microorganisms
    • radionuclides
    • uptake
    • yeasts

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology


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