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1337271 
Journal Article 
Review 
Microbial interactions in the arsenic cycle: Adoptive strategies and applications in environmental management 
Dhuldhaj, UP; Yadav, IC; Singh, S; Sharma, NK 
2013 
Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
ISSN: 0179-5953
EISSN: 2197-6554 
Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 
224 
1-38 
English 
Arsenic (As) is a nonessential element that is often present in plants and in other organisms. However, it is one of the most hazardous of toxic elements globally. In many parts of the world, arsenic contamination in groundwater is a serious and continuing threat to human health. Microbes play an important role in regulating the environmental fate of arsenic. Different microbial processes influence the biogeochemical cycling of arsenic in ways that affect the accumulation of different arsenic species in various ecosystem compartments. For example, in soil, there are bacteria that methylate arsenite to trimethylarsine gas, thereby releasing arsenic to the atmosphere.In marine ecosystems, microbes exist that can convert inorganic arsenicals to organic arsenicals (e.g., di- and tri-methylated arsenic derivatives, arsenocholine,arsenobetaine, arsenosugars, arsenolipids). The organo arsenicals are further metabolized to complete the arsenic cycle.Microbes have developed various strategies that enable them to tolerate arsenic and to survive in arsenic-rich environments. Such strategies include As exclusion from cells by establishing permeability barrier, intra- and extracellular sequestration,active efflux pumps, enzymatic reduction, and reduction in the sensitivity of cellular targets. These strategies are used either singly or in combination. In bacteria,the genes for arsenic resistance/detoxification are encoded by the arsenic resistance operons (ars operon).In this review, we have addressed and emphasized the impact of different microbial processes (e.g., arsenite oxidation, cytoplasmic arsenate reduction, respiratory arsenate reduction, arsenite methylation) on the arsenic cycle. Microbes are the only life forms reported to exist in heavy arsenic-contaminated environments. Therefore,an understanding of the strategies adopted by microbes to cope with arsenic stress is important in managing such arsenic-contaminated sites. Further future insights into the different microbial genes/proteins that are involved in arsenic resistance may also be useful for developing arsenic resistant crop plants. 
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