Bioremediation found for tugnsten-rich soil

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 11 Jan 2018 08:59:17


 

By Ajay Mardikar,

The research would help in recognising microflora and in bioremediation and biodegradation to remove contamination from soil and groundwater


Rohini Ganorkar has carried out a path-breaking research which will help in bioremediation of metal containated soil, particularly tugnsten enriched soil. Tungsten was considered relatively insoluble and non-toxic and was used as an alternative to lead in preparing ammunition. The green bullets using tungsten instead of highly toxic lead, was developed by US in 1990s. Later it was found that tungsten was not chemically inert as previously though. Some forms of tungsten can move readily through soil and groundwater under certain environmental conditions. It has now been considered an ‘emerging contaminant’ by US Department of Defense and Environment Protection Agency.


The research for doctoral degree titled ‘ Metagenomic analysis of bacterial isolate from tungsten enriched soil’, was caried out by Ganorkar under the guidance of Director of Rajiv Gandhi Biotechnology Centre Dr Arti Shanware and Dr A B Ingle, Associate Professor, Department of Microbiology, S K Porwal College, Kamptee.


In view of the imbalance created in microflora and fauna due to exploration of soil and also dumping of industrial waste containing toxic heavy metal, the research was undertaken. Soil from Kuhi-Agargaon-Khobna in Nagpur district, was taken as sample for the research. The site was selected as Geological Survey of India and Mineral Exploration Corporation Limited (MECL) has reported presence of tungsten in the soil.


The study is first of its kind where metagenomic analysis was performed on tungsten enriched soil at the site. It is a stepping stone to understand bacterial species that are capable to survive under metal stress. The culturable approach has identified series of isolates which were tungsten and other metal tolerant. The study would help in recognising microflora and in bioremediation and biodegradation to remove contamination from soil and groundwater. Ganorkar was awarded PhD by RTM Nagpur University recently.