Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 51, Issue 6, pp 730–750 | Cite as

Microbial heavy-metal resistance

  • D. H. Nies


We are just beginning to understand the metabolism of heavy metals and to use their metabolic functions in biotechnology, although heavy metals comprise the major part of the elements in the periodic table. Because they can form complex compounds, some heavy metal ions are essential trace elements, but, essential or not, most heavy metals are toxic at higher concentrations. This review describes the workings of known metal-resistance systems in microorganisms. After an account of the basic principles of homoeostasis for all heavy-metal ions, the transport of the 17 most important (heavy metal) elements is compared.


Heavy Metal Basic Principle Major Part Periodic Table Metabolic Function 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. H. Nies
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Mikrobiologie, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Kurt-Mothes-Str. 3, 06099 Halle, Germany e-mail: Tel.: +49-345-5526352 Fax: +49-345-5527010DE

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