Tolerance to various toxicants by marine bacteria highly resistant to mercury.

Marine biotechnology (New York, N.Y.)

PubMedID: 12876655

De J, Ramaiah N, Mesquita A, Verlekar XN. Tolerance to various toxicants by marine bacteria highly resistant to mercury. Mar Biotechnol. 2003;5(2):185-93.
Bacteria highly resistant to mercury isolated from seawater and sediment samples were tested for growth in the presence of different heavy metals, pesticides, phenol, formaldehyde, formic acid, and trichloroethane to investigate their potential for growth in the presence of a variety of toxic xenobiotics. We hypothesized that bacteria resistant to high concentrations of mercury would have potential capacities to tolerate or possibly degrade a variety of toxic materials and thus would be important in environmental pollution bioremediation. The mercury-resistant bacteria were found to belong to Pseudomonas, Proteus, Xanthomonas, Alteromonas, Aeromonas, and Enterobacteriaceae. All these environmental bacterial strains tolerant to mercury used in this study were capable of growth at a far higher concentration (50 ppm) of mercury than previously reported. Likewise, their ability to grow in the presence of toxic xenobiotics, either singly or in combination, was superior to that of bacteria incapable of growth in media containing 5 ppm mercury. Plasmid-curing assays done in this study ascertained that resistance to mercury antibiotics, and toxic xenobiotics is mediated by chromosomally borne genes and/or transposable elements rather than by plasmids.