Cupriavidus necator strains: zinc and cadmium tolerance and bioaccumulation

  • Paulo Ademar Avelar Ferreira Federal University of Santa Maria; Dept. of Soil Science
  • Cleide Aparecida Bomfeti Federal University of Vales of Jequitinhonha and Mucuri; Institute of Science and Technology
  • Cláudio Roberto Fonsêca de Souza Soares Federal University of Santa Catarina; Biological Sciences Center; Microbiology, Immunology and Parasitology Dept
  • Bruno Lima Soares Federal University of Lavras; Dept. of Soil Science
  • Fatima Maria de Souza Moreira Federal University of Lavras; Dept. of Soil Science
Keywords: β-proteobacteria, bioremediation, heavy-metal, soil pollution


Among soil microorganisms, the genus Cupriavidus has garnered particular scientific, economic and ecological interest because of its ability to fix nitrogen and tolerate high concentrations of metals. The aim of this study was to analyze four strains of Cupriavidus necator for their ability to tolerate and bioaccumulate cadmium and zinc. The tolerance of these strains to these metals was assessed in liquid culture medium containing different concentrations of Zn + Cd and in soil solutions and soils contaminated with multiple elements including Zn, Cd, Cu and Pb. The four strains showed high tolerance to Zn and Cd, both in culture medium and when inoculated into contaminated soil solutions or multi-element contaminated soil. The UFLA02-71 strain displayed the highest ability to bioaccumulate these metals. It was able to accumulate 93.76 µmol g cell−1 of Zn and 16.03 µmol g cell−1 of Cd when cultured in liquid medium with a total heavy metal concentration of 9,140 µmol L−1 (9,000 Zn + 140 Cd) and was able to accumulate 16.98 µmol g cell−1 of Cd in the soil solution. An increase in the pH of the culture medium resulting from the growth of the C. necator strains reduced the Zn2+ and Cd2+ ions in the medium and increased the concentrations of the ZnHPO4 and CdHPO4 species in solution. Thus, we concluded that they show great potential for use in the bioremediation of HM-contaminated areas.


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How to Cite
Ferreira, P., Bomfeti, C., Soares, C., Soares, B., & Moreira, F. (2018). Cupriavidus necator strains: zinc and cadmium tolerance and bioaccumulation. Scientia Agricola, 75(6), 452-460.
Agricultural Microbiology