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A new insight to adsorption and accumulation of high lead concentration by exopolymer and whole cells of lead-resistant bacterium Acinetobacter junii L. Pb1 isolated from coal mine dump

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A lead-resistant bacterial strain was isolated from coal mine dump and identified as Acinetobacter junii Pb1 on basis of 16S rRNA (ribosomal ribonucleic acid) gene sequencing. The minimum inhibitory concentration of lead for the strain was 16,000 mg l−1 and it showed antibiotic and multi metal resistance. In aqueous culture, at an initial lead (Pb(II)) concentration of 100 and 500 mg l−1, lead adsorption and accumulation by the isolate was 100 and 60%, at pH 7 at 30 °C after 48 and 120 h, respectively. The two fractions of exopolysaccharide (EPS), loosely associated EPS (laEPS) and bound EPS (bEPS), and whole cells (devoid of EPS) showed high binding affinity towards Pb(II). The binding affinity of laEPS towards Pb(II) (1071 mg Pb g−1) was three times higher than that of bEPS (321.5 mg Pb g−1) and 6.5 times higher than that of whole cells (165 mg Pb g−1). The binding affinity of EPS and whole cells with Pb(II), reported in the current study, is considerably higher as compared to that reported in the literature, till date. SEM analysis, showed an increase in thickness of cells on exposure to Pb(II) and TEM analysis, revealed its accumulation (interior of cell) and its adsorption (with the external cell surface). The isolate was also found to be positive for indole acetic acid (IAA) and 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC) deaminase production which helps in promoting plant growth. Thus, this study provides a new understanding towards Pb(II) uptake by A. junii Pb1, highlighting its potential on the restoration of Pb(II) contaminated repositories.

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The authors are grateful to TEQIP-II and MNNIT, Allahabad for financial support for this research. Ms. Anamika Kushwaha acknowledges TEQIP-II for their financial support in the form of fellowship. The authors are grateful to CMDR, MNNIT, Allahabad for providing facility for BIOLOG. The SEM and TEM imaging facilities provided by SAIF, AIIMS New Delhi are greatly acknowledged.

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Correspondence to Radha Rani.

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This study is funded by TEQIP II.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

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Responsible editor: Guilherme L. Dotto

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Kushwaha, A., Rani, R., Kumar, S. et al. A new insight to adsorption and accumulation of high lead concentration by exopolymer and whole cells of lead-resistant bacterium Acinetobacter junii L. Pb1 isolated from coal mine dump. Environ Sci Pollut Res 24, 10652–10661 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-017-8752-8

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  • Lead
  • Acinetobacter junii
  • Biosorption
  • Exopolysaccharide
  • Plant growth promoting activity
  • Bioremediation