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Volume 71, Issue 5


Status of metal pollution in rivers flowing through urban settlements at Pune and its effect on resident microflora

Neelu Nawani
  • Corresponding author
  • Microbial Diversity Research Centre, Dr. D. Y. Patil Biotechnology and Bioinformatics Institute, Dr. D. Y. Patil Vidyapeeth, Pune - 411033, India; e-mail:
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/ Aminur Rahman
  • System Biology Research Centre, School of Biosciences, University of Skovde, SE-54128 Skovde, Sweden
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/ Noor Nahar
  • System Biology Research Centre, School of Biosciences, University of Skovde, SE-54128 Skovde, Sweden
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/ Anandakumar Saha / Balasaheb Kapadnis / Abul Mandal
  • System Biology Research Centre, School of Biosciences, University of Skovde, SE-54128 Skovde, Sweden
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Published Online: 2016-06-16 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/biolog-2016-0074


This study illustrates the sporadic distribution of metals in fluvial systems flowing from catchments to urban settlements. This is a detailed study prognosticating the deteriorating quality of rivers at specific locations due to metal pollution. Heavy metals like cadmium, lead, nickel and mercury are prominent in industrial sector. Contour plots derived using spatial and temporal data could determine the focal point of metal pollution and its gradation. Metal values recorded were cadmium 157 mg/L, lead 47 mg/L, nickel 61 mg/L and mercury 0.56 mg/L. Prokaryote diversity was less in polluted water and it harboured metal tolerant bacteria, which were isolated from these polluted sites. Actinomycetes like Streptomyces and several other bacteria like Stenotrophomonas and Pseudomonas isolated from the polluted river sites exhibited changes in morphology in presence of heavy metals. This stress response offered remedial measures as Streptomyces were effective in biosorption of cadmium, nickel and lead and Stenotrophomonas and Pseudomonas were effective in the bioaccumulation of lead and cadmium. Eighty-nine mg of lead and 106 mg of nickel could be adsorbed on one gram of Streptomyces biomass-based biosorbent. Such biological remedies can be further explored to remove metals from polluted sites and from metal contaminated industrial or waste waters.

Key words: diversity; metal pollution; bioremediation; morphological changes; bacteria; actinomycetes; Pune rivers; prokaryote


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About the article

Received: 2015-12-24

Accepted: 2016-05-09

Published Online: 2016-06-16

Published in Print: 2016-05-01

Citation Information: Biologia, Volume 71, Issue 5, Pages 494–507, ISSN (Online) 1336-9563, ISSN (Print) 0006-3088, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/biolog-2016-0074.

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