Jump to main content or area navigation.

Contact Us

Extramural Research

Grantee Research Project Results

Grantee Research Project Results

Heavy Metal Reduction by Desulfitobacterium

EPA Grant Number: U916018
Title: Heavy Metal Reduction by Desulfitobacterium
Investigators: Harzman, Christina
Institution: Michigan State University
EPA Project Officer: Cobbs-Green, Gladys M.
Project Period: January 1, 2001 through January 1, 2004
Project Amount: $101,777
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (2001)
Research Category: Fellowship - Microbiology , Academic Fellowships , Biology/Life Sciences



The objective of this research project is to explore which heavy metals are capable of being reduced, at what rate the metals are being reduced, and which genes are being expressed differentially by seven species of Desulfitobacterium.


Heavy metal mining, consumption, and disposal by both commercial and federal agencies have led to widespread contamination. Depending on the heavy metal, the element may remain stable at high concentrations in smaller pockets or disperse into widespread, low-level contamination. Cleanup methods of widespread, low-level contamination often are expensive, and the metal is generally better left as is, rather than dredging up and disposing of the immense soil load. Using bacteria to contain and potentially concentrate the heavy metal contamination for effective disposal has the potential to be very cost-effective and biologically less invasive than other remediation efforts. One potential heavy metal-reducing bacterial genus is the known anaerobic sulfate-reducer, Desulfitobacterium. The results of this research project then may be utilized to create the optimal conditions for this heavy metal bioremediation to occur in nature.

Supplemental Keywords:

fellowship, bacteria, heavy metals, heavy metal reduction, heavy metal contamination, contamination, Desulfitobacterium, sulfate reducer, bioremediation, remediation, remediation efforts., RFA, Scientific Discipline, INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION, Waste, Water, TREATMENT/CONTROL, Contaminated Sediments, Treatment Technologies, Microbiology, Analytical Chemistry, Environmental Microbiology, Hazardous Waste, Bioremediation, Molecular Biology/Genetics, Hazardous, degradation, microbial degradation, bioavailability, biodegradation, contaminated sediment, contaminated soil, contaminants in soil, bioremediation of soils, natural recovery, wetland sediments, biochemistry, phytoremediation, metals removal, contaminated soils

Top of Page

The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Conclusions drawn by the principal investigators have not been reviewed by the Agency.

Jump to main content.