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TheScientificWorldJOURNAL
Volume 2, Pages 972-977
http://dx.doi.org/10.1100/tsw.2002.154
Short Communication

Chromate Reduction in Serratia marcescens Isolated from Tannery Effluent and Potential Application for Bioremediation of Chromate Pollution

1Microbiology Department, University of Concepción, P.O. Box 152-C, Correo 3, Concepción, Chile
2Chemical Engineering Department, University of Concepción, P.O. Box 152-C, Correo 3, Concepción, Chile

Received 10 November 2001; Revised 25 January 2002; Accepted 1 February 2002

Copyright © 2002 M.A. Mondaca et al.

Abstract

Pollution of aquatic systems by heavy metals has resulted in increasing environmental concern because they cannot be biodegraded. One metal that gives reason for concern due to its toxicity is chromium. Cr(VI) and Cr(III) are the principal forms of chromium found in natural waters. A chromate-resistant strain of the bacterium S. marcescens was isolated from tannery effluent. The strain was able to reduce Cr(VI) to Cr(III), and about 80% of chromate was removed from the medium. The reduction seems to occur on the cell surface. Transmission electron microscopic examination of cells revealed that particles were deposited on the outside of bacterial cells. A stable biofilm was formed in less than 10 h, reaching around 1010 cfu attached per milligram of activated carbon. These findings demonstrate that immobilized S. marcescens might be used in industrial waste treatment processes.