Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 101, Issue 8, pp 3415–3425 | Cite as

Studies on the removal of Cd ions by gastrointestinal lactobacilli

  • Magdalena Polak-BereckaEmail author
  • Patrycja Boguta
  • Jolanta Cieśla
  • Andrzej Bieganowski
  • Tomasz Skrzypek
  • Tomasz Czernecki
  • Adam Waśko
Environmental biotechnology


Accumulation of toxic metal ions in food and water is nowadays a growing health-related problem. One detoxification method involves the use of microorganisms naturally inhabiting the gastrointestinal tract (GIT). The purpose of this study was to prove that lactic acid bacteria derived from the GIT are able to effectively remove Cd2+ from water solution. Seven strains of lactobacilli, out of 11 examined, showed tolerance to high concentrations of cadmium ions. The metal-removal efficiencies of these seven lactobacilli ranged from 6 to 138.4 μg/h mg. Among these bacteria, Lactobacillus gallinarum and Lactobacillus crispatus belonged to the highest (85%) Cd-removal efficiency class. An analysis of the zeta potential (ζ) indicated that the bacterial cell surface had a negative charge at the pH ranging from 3 to 10. The presence of carboxyl, amide, and phosphate groups was favorable for Cd2+ binding to the cell surface, which found confirmation in FTIR-ATR spectra. Elemental SEM/EDS analysis and TEM imaging not only confirmed the adsorption of Cd2+ on the cell envelope but also gave us a reason to suppose that Lb. crispatus accumulates metal ions inside the cell. Our findings open perspectives for further research on the new biological function of GIT lactobacilli as natural biosorbents.


Biosorption Bioaccumulation Metal ions Cadmium Lactobacillus sp. 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

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


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Magdalena Polak-Berecka
    • 1
    Email author
  • Patrycja Boguta
    • 2
  • Jolanta Cieśla
    • 2
  • Andrzej Bieganowski
    • 2
  • Tomasz Skrzypek
    • 3
  • Tomasz Czernecki
    • 1
  • Adam Waśko
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biotechnology, Human Nutrition and Science of Food CommoditiesUniversity of Life Sciences in LublinLublinPoland
  2. 2.Institute of Agrophysics Polish Academy of SciencesLublinPoland
  3. 3.Laboratory of Confocal and Electron Microscopy, Interdisciplinary Research CenterJohn Paul II Catholic University of LublinLublinPoland

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