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Arsenic Resistant Bacteria Isolated from Arsenic Contaminated River in the Atacama Desert (Chile)


In this study, arsenic resistant bacteria were isolated from sediments of an arsenic contaminated river. Arsenic tolerance of bacteria isolated was carried out by serial dilution on agar plate. Redox abilities were investigated using KMnO4. arsC and aox genes were detected by PCR and RT-PCR, respectively. Bacterial populations were identified by RapID system. Forty nine bacterial strains were isolated, of these, 55 % corresponded to the reducing bacteria, 4% to oxidizing bacteria, 8% presented both activities and in 33% of the bacteria none activity was detected. arsC gene was detected in 11 strains and aox genes were not detected. The activity of arsenic transforming microorganisms in river sediment has significant implications for the behavior of the metalloid.

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This work has been supported by Dirección de Investigación, Universidad de Concepción (Proyect N° 204.036.027-1.0) and FONDECYT (Proyect N° 1050088).

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Correspondence to M. A. Mondaca.

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Escalante, G., Campos, V.L., Valenzuela, C. et al. Arsenic Resistant Bacteria Isolated from Arsenic Contaminated River in the Atacama Desert (Chile). Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 83, 657–661 (2009).

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  • ArsC and aox genes
  • Arsenic-resistant bacteria
  • Arsenic-contaminated
  • Reducing and oxidizing bacteria