Water, Air, and Soil Pollution

, Volume 109, Issue 1–4, pp 263–276 | Cite as

Chromium-Resistant Bacterial Populations from a Site Heavily Contaminated with Hexavalent Chromium

  • J. L. Bader
  • G. Gonzalez
  • P. C. Goodell
  • S. D. Pillai
  • A. S. Ali


Chromium-containing industrial effluents are primarily responsible for environmental contamination by toxic and highly mobile, hexavalent chromium. The dilution plate-count method, using media amended with Cr(VI) at concentrations ranging from 0 to 1000 mg L-1, was used to compare the sizes of Cr(VI)-resistant bacterial populations from a soil contaminated with 25 100 mg kg-1 total Cr [12 400 mg kg-1 Cr(VI)] to those isolated from a slightly contaminated soil (99.6 mg kg-1 total Cr) and two other soils without any history of Cr contamination. Bacterial populations resistant to 500 mg L-1 Cr(VI) were isolated from all soils except the heavily contaminated soil. To determine whether Cr-resistant bacterial populations were indigenous to both the contaminated and the uncontaminated soils, enrichment cultures containing Cr(VI) at concentrations ranging from 0 to 1000 mg L-1 were employed. Bacterial populations, as high as 105 (colony forming units) CFU g-1 soil, tolerant of 500 mg L-1 Cr(VI) were isolated from all soils within 48 h of enrichment suggesting that the presence of aerobic Cr(VI)-resistant bacterial populations is unrelated to contamination levels or contamination history. However, identification of these resistant bacteria using fatty acid profiles was unsuccessful suggesting that these populations may have unique characteristics. Fungal colonies resistant to 1000 mg L-1 Cr(VI) were routinely isolated from both uncontaminated and contaminated soils. The results suggest that Cr-resistant microorganisms may be present in soils, even those with no history of Cr contamination.

bacteria chromium resistance contamination hexavalent chromium 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. L. Bader
    • 1
  • G. Gonzalez
    • 1
  • P. C. Goodell
    • 1
  • S. D. Pillai
    • 2
  • A. S. Ali
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Geological SciencesUniversity of Texas at El PasoEl PasoU.S.A
  2. 2.Environmental Science ProgramTexas A&M University Research CenterEl PasoU.S.A

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