, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 323–337 | Cite as

Exploring potential applications of a novel extracellular polymeric substance synthesizing bacterium (Bacillus licheniformis) isolated from gut contents of earthworm (Metaphire posthuma) in environmental remediation

  • Jayanta Kumar BiswasEmail author
  • Anurupa Banerjee
  • Mahendra Kumar Rai
  • Jörg Rinklebe
  • Sabry M. Shaheen
  • Santosh Kumar Sarkar
  • Madhab Chandra Dash
  • Anilava Kaviraj
  • Uwe Langer
  • Hocheol Song
  • Meththika Vithanage
  • Monojit Mondal
  • Nabeel Khan Niazi
Original Paper


The aim was to isolate, characterize, and explore potentials of gut bacteria from the earthworm (Metaphire posthuma) and imply these bacteria for remediation of Cu(II) and Zn(II). An extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) producing gut bacteria (Bacillus licheniformis strain KX657843) was isolated and identified based on 16S rRNA sequencing and phylogenetic analysis. The strain showed maximum tolerance of 8 and 6 mM for Cu(II) and Zn(II) respectively. It removed 34.5% of Cu(II) and 54.4% of Zn(II) at 25 mg L−1 after 72 and 96 h incubation respectively. The bacteria possessed a great potential to produce indole acetic acid (38.49 μg mL−1) at 5 mg mL−1 l-tryptophan following 12 days incubation. The sterilized seeds of mung beans (Vigna radiata) displayed greater germination and growth under bacterium enriched condition. We observed that the bacterial strain phosphate solubilization ability with a maximum of 204.2 mg L−1 in absence of Cu(II) and Zn(II). Endowed with biosurfactant property the bacterium exhibited 24% emulsification index. The bacterium offered significant potential of plant growth promotion, Cu(II) and Zn(II) removal, and as such this study is the first report on EPS producing B. licheniformis KX657843 from earthworm which can be applied as powerful tool in remediation programs of Cu(II) and Zn(II) contaminated sites.


Gut bacteria Indole acetic acid Vigna radiata Biosurfactant Heavy metal removal Phosphate solubilization 



The study was financially supported by Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India in the form of providing INSPIRE Fellowship (Code No.: 1F131101) to Anurupa Banerjee for carrying out research work under the supervision of Dr. Jayanta Kumar Biswas. The authors also duly acknowledge the infrastructural support provided by Department of Ecological Studies, University of Kalyani as well as the facility available under the DST-PURSE programme.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

There is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jayanta Kumar Biswas
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Anurupa Banerjee
    • 1
  • Mahendra Kumar Rai
    • 3
  • Jörg Rinklebe
    • 4
    • 5
  • Sabry M. Shaheen
    • 4
    • 6
  • Santosh Kumar Sarkar
    • 7
  • Madhab Chandra Dash
    • 8
  • Anilava Kaviraj
    • 9
  • Uwe Langer
    • 10
  • Hocheol Song
    • 5
  • Meththika Vithanage
    • 11
  • Monojit Mondal
    • 1
  • Nabeel Khan Niazi
    • 12
    • 13
  1. 1.Enviromicrobiology, Ecotoxicology and Ecotechnology Research Laboratory, Department of Ecological StudiesUniversity of KalyaniKalyaniIndia
  2. 2.International Centre for Ecological EngineeringUniversity of KalyaniKalyaniIndia
  3. 3.Department of BiotechnologySGB Amravati UniversityAmravatiIndia
  4. 4.School of Architecture and Civil Engineering, Institute of Foundation Engineering, Water- and Waste-Management, Soil- and Groundwater-ManagementUniversity of WuppertalWuppertalGermany
  5. 5.Department of Environment and EnergyUniversity of SejongSeoulSouth Korea
  6. 6.Department of Soil and Water Sciences, Faculty of AgricultureUniversity of KafrelsheikhKafr El-SheikhEgypt
  7. 7.Department of Marine ScienceUniversity of CalcuttaKolkataIndia
  8. 8.Formerly Vice Chancellor’s OfficeSambalpur University, JyotiViharSambalpurIndia
  9. 9.Department of ZoologyUniversity of KalyaniKalyaniIndia
  10. 10.Department of Soil ProtectionState Office for Environmental Protection of Saxony-AnhaltHalle/SaaleGermany
  11. 11.Office of the Dean, Faculty of Applied SciencesUniversity of Sri JayewardenepuraNugegodaSri Lanka
  12. 12.Institute of Soil and Environmental SciencesUniversity of Agriculture FaisalabadFaisalabadPakistan
  13. 13.MARUM and Department of GeosciencesUniversity of BremenBremenGermany

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