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. 1996 Jun;42(6):593-603.
doi: 10.1139/m96-080.

Characterization of Bacterial Communities in Heavy Metal Contaminated Soils


Characterization of Bacterial Communities in Heavy Metal Contaminated Soils

T M Roane et al. Can J Microbiol. .


Heavy metal pollution is a principle source of environmental contamination. We analyzed heavy metal impacted soil microbial communities and found that, in general, although lead adversely affected biomass, metabolic activity, and diversity, autochthonous lead- and cadmium-resistant isolates were found. In several metal-stressed soils, the microbial community consisted of two populations, either resistant or sensitive to lead. Additionally, a lead-resistant isolate was isolated from a control soil with no known previous exposure to lead, suggesting widespread lead resistance. Lead-resistant genera isolated included Pseudomonas, Bacillus, Corynebacterium, and Enterobacter species. Plasmids, ranging from 5 to 260 kb, were not detected through standard purifications from lead-resistant isolates. Positive correlations existed between antibiotic resistance and isolation habitat for lead-resistant strains, microbial metabolic activity and soil type, soluble lead concentration and microbial diversity, and arsenic concentration and total or viable cell concentrations.

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