Psychrotrophic Metal Tolerant Bacteria for Mobilisation of Metals in Antarctic Waters




Cold tolerant psychrotrophic bacteria abound in the Antarctic waters. While Antarctic krills are known to concentrate heavy metals at ppm levels, psychrotrophic bacteria from Antarctic fresh and marine waters have been reported to tolerate them. Of the 252 isolates from these waters varying degrees of resistance to metals like chromium, cadmium, zinc and mercury was observed. Some of the marine bacterial isolates showed 29 and 16 per cent resistance to 100 ppm of cadmium and chromium salt respectively. Tolerance to lower concentration (10 ppm) of mercury was observed in 68 per cent of the isolates. Surprisingly, the bacterial resistance shown by these bacteria were on similar levels to those reported from coastal waters. Some of the freshwater isolates had multiple metal resistance. is intrinsic resistance encountered in isolates from these pristine environments could be useful for orchestrating metal mobilisation like iron in these waters to promote in situ production for climate modulation. Alternatively, these native bacteria could be useful for harnessing mineral resources in the distant future.


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