Environmental health and toxicology

A review on completing arsenic biogeochemical cycle:Microbial volatilization of arsines in environment

Peipei Wang , Guoxin Sun , Yan Jia , Andrew A Meharg , Yongguan Zhu


Received March 06, 2013,Revised August 08, 2013, Accepted , Available online January 27, 2014

Volume ,2014,Pages 371-381

Arsenic (As) is ubiquitous in the environment in the carcinogenic inorganic forms, posing risks to human health in many parts of the world. Many microorganisms have evolved a series of mechanisms to cope with inorganic arsenic in their growth media such as transforming As compounds into volatile derivatives. Bio-volatilization of As has been suggested to play an important role in global As biogeochemical cycling, and can also be explored as a potential method for arsenic bioremediation. This review aims to provide an overview of the quality and quantity of As volatilization by fungi, bacteria, microalga and protozoans. Arsenic bio-volatilization is influenced by both biotic and abiotic factors that can be manipulated/elucidated for the purpose of As bioremediation. Since As bio-volatilization is a resurgent topic for both biogeochemistry and environmental health, our review serves as a concept paper for future research directions.

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