Heavy Metals Microbial Scavengers: Current Trends and Future Perspectives

Umar U. Zango, Rohit Sharma, Raman Kumar, Anil K. Sharma


Contamination of heavy metals in the environment due to

the increased industrial and other anthropogenic human

activities have been the major global concern because of

their toxicity and threat to human life and environment.

These heavy metals such as lead (Pb), chromium (Cr),

cadmium (Cd), iron (Fe) and mercury (Hg) are being

released in significant levels into the ecosystem. Physico -

chemical methods of treating the heavy metals

contaminants were found less effective, time-consuming

and expensive. Bioremediation approach has been

reported to have some potential advantages as it uses

biological system to remove contaminants from the

environment. However one needs to understand complex

microbes - metals interactions for the success of the

technology. Current review focuses on the use of

microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, algae in the

cleanup of the heavy metal contaminants from the

environment, in order to make the ecosystem sustainable.

More emphasis has been laid upon the use of living, dead

and immobilized cells of microorganisms for their potential

use in bioremediation to remove heavy metal ions from aqueous solution.

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