Microbial Transformation of Trace Elements in Soils in Relation to Bioavailability and Remediation

  • Nanthi S. BolanEmail author
  • Girish Choppala
  • Anitha Kunhikrishnan
  • Jinhee Park
  • Ravi Naidu
Part of the Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology book series (RECT, volume 225)


The term “trace elements” generally includes elements (both metals and metalloids) that occur in natural and perturbed environments in small amounts and that, when present in sufficient bioavailable concentrations, are toxic to living organisms (Adriano 2001). This group includes both biologically essential [e.g., cobalt (Co), copper (Cu), chromium (Cr), manganese (Mn), and zinc (Zn)] and nonessential [e.g., cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), and mercury (Hg)] elements. The essential elements (for plant, animal, or human nutrition) are required in low concentrations and hence are known as “micro nutrients.” The nonessential elements are phytotoxic and/or zootoxic and are widely known as “toxic elements” (Adriano 2001). Both groups are toxic to plants, animals, and/or humans at exorbitant concentrations (Alloway 1990; Adriano 2001). Heavy metal(loid)s, which include elements with an atomic density greater than 6 g cm#3 [with the exception of arsenic (As), boron (B), and selenium (Se)] are also considered to be trace elements.


Microbial Transformation Toxic Trace Element Dimethyl Selenide Humic Acid Fraction Dimethyl Diselenide 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The Postdoctoral fellowship program (PJ008650042012) at National Academy of Agricultural Science, Rural Development Administration, Republic of Korea, ­supported Dr Kunhikrishnan’s contribution.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nanthi S. Bolan
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Girish Choppala
    • 1
    • 2
  • Anitha Kunhikrishnan
    • 3
  • Jinhee Park
    • 4
  • Ravi Naidu
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre for Environmental Risk Assessment and RemediationUniversity of South AustraliaMawson LakesAustralia
  2. 2.Cooperative Research Centre for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the EnvironmentAdelaideAustralia
  3. 3.Chemical Safety Division, Department of Agro-Food SafetyNational Academy of Agricultural ScienceSuwon-siRepublic of Korea
  4. 4.Centre for Mined Land Rehabilitation, University of QueenslandSt LuciaAustralia

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