Mercury-resistant (HgR) bacteria occur in various bacterial species from a wide variety of environmental sources. Resistance is conferred by a set of operon genes termed the mer operon. Many HgR bacteria have been isolated from diverse environments and clinical samples, and it is recognized that mer operons are often localized on transposons. Previous research reports have suggested that HgR transposons participate in the horizontal gene transfer of mer operons among bacteria. This was confirmed by a study that found that mer operons were distributed worldwide in Bacilli with dissemination of TnMERI1-like transposons. In this mini review, possible strategies for transposon-mediated in situ molecular breeding (ISMoB) of HgR bacteria in their natural habitat are discussed. In ISMoB, the target microorganisms for breeding are indigenous bacteria that are not HgR but that are dominant and robust in their respective environments. Additionally, we propose a new concept of bioremediation technology for environmental mercury pollution by applying transposon-mediated ISMoB for environmental mercury pollution control.
Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 26, 2018
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