Isolation of chromium resistant bacteria from a former bauxite mine area and their capacity for Cr (VI) reduction
The Cr (VI) reducing capacity of bacteria has been investigated in many different soils and waters but little or no information is available from soils originating from bauxite mine areas. From soil, mud and rhizospheres of the floating aquatic plant Potamogeton natans L. and the terrestrial plant Carduus acanthoides L., the Cr content was determined and the microbial populations were sampled. The highest total chromium concentration (204.6 mgkg-1) was found in the rhizosphere of C. acanthoides. To determine the numbers and percentages of chromate-resistant bacteria, the autochthonous microbial populations were subjected to different Cr (VI) concentrations (40, 100, 300 and 1000 mM as K2Cr2O7). At 1000 mM Cr (VI) in the medium, about 25% of bacteria from soil and 45% of bacteria from the rhizospheres were resistant. Of 34 bacterial isolates, within 24 h, only Bacillus stearothermophilus 12 ms, Pseudomonas sp. 12 bk3 and Serratia fonticola 7 be were able to reduce 50 μM Cr (VI). Using prolonged 72 h incubation, they were able to reduce 500 μM Cr (VI) concentrations added to the medium. These chromate-resistant bacteria isolated from rhizosphere of plants growing in bauxite mine soil have great potential for bioremediation of Cr (VI)-polluted wastes.
Key words: Chromate-resistant bacteria, chromate reduction, bauxite mine, rhizosphere, plants