Use of Azotobacter an indicator to detect the toxicity of heavy metals in soils

Liao Ruizhang , Shen Qiuqin , Jin Lizhi , Shen Shuling , Qian Houyin , Guan Zhensheng


Received January 21, 1989,Revised , Accepted , Available online

Volume 2,1990,Pages 123-128

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A physiological strain of microorganism - Azotobacter sp. has been adopted as an indicator to detect the toxicity of heavy metals in soils. The concentration of heavy metals to which Azotobacter sp. was behaving initially to have the resistance to heavy metals is defined as the critical poisoning concentration. The method of physiological threshold adopted can have a quantitative determination with reproducible results. The determined critical poisoning concentration is basically consistent with the results of heavy metals and arsenic toxicities to the bacteria reported recently in literatures. Total 9 typical soils, including 6 zonal soils and 3 purple soils, in the whole country were determined for the toxicities of 5 heavy metals and arsenic to Azotobacter sp. that resulted in 48 critical poisoning concentrations.

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