Novel Metal Resistance Genes from Microorganisms: A Functional Metagenomic Approach
Most of the known metal resistance mechanisms are based on studies of cultured microorganisms, and the abundant uncultured fraction could be an important source of genes responsible for uncharacterized resistance mechanisms. A functional metagenomic approach was selected to recover metal resistance genes from the rhizosphere microbial community of an acid-mine drainage (AMD)-adapted plant, Erica andevalensis, from Rio Tinto, Spain. A total of 13 nickel resistant clones were isolated and analyzed, encoding hypothetical or conserved hypothetical proteins of uncertain functions, or well-characterized proteins, but not previously reported to be related to nickel resistance. The resistance clones were classified into two groups according to their nickel accumulation properties: those preventing or those favoring metal accumulation. Two clones encoding putative ABC transporter components and a serine O-acetyltransferase were found as representatives of each group, respectively.
Key wordsMetal resistance Nickel Microorganisms Bacteria Metagenomic Acid-mine drainage Rhizosphere Rio Tinto
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