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Heavy metal resistance in algae and its application for metal nanoparticle synthesis

Priyadarshini, Eepsita, Priyadarshini, Sushree Sangita, Pradhan, Nilotpala
Applied microbiology and biotechnology 2019 v.103 no.8 pp. 3297-3316
algae, anthropogenic activities, bioremediation, biosynthesis, heavy metals, metal ions, metal tolerance, nanoparticles, organelles, pollution, toxicity
The ungenerous release of metals from different industrial, agricultural, and anthropogenic sources has resulted in heavy metal pollution. Metals with a density larger than 5 g cm⁻³ have been termed as heavy metals and have been stated to be potentially toxic to human and animals. Algae are known to be pioneer organisms with the potential to grow under extreme conditions including heavy metal-polluted sites. They have evolved efficient defense strategies to combat the toxic effects exerted by heavy metal ions. Most of the algal strains are reported to accumulate elevated metal ion concentration in cellular organelles. With respect to that, this review focuses on understanding the various strategies used by algal system for heavy metal resistance. Additionally, the application of this metal resistance in biosynthesis of metal nanoparticles and metal oxide nanoparticles has been investigated in details. We thereby conclude that algae serve as an excellent system for understanding metal uptake and accumulation. This thereby assists in the design and development of low-cost approaches for large-scale synthesis of nanoparticles and bioremediation approach, providing ample opportunities for future work.