Metallothionein biomediator

Soil remediation after heavy-metal contamination remains a serious challenge, and the promise of cheaper, more efficient, environmentally friendly methods is driving research into the use of microbes to immobilize these otherwise soluble pollutants. Valls et al. (p. 661) describe the engineering of the heavy metal-tolerant bacterium Ralstonia eutropha to display a mouse metal-binding metallothionein (MT) on its cell surface. Not only did the engineered bacterium efficiently gather cadmium ions from the soil, but it also protected tobacco plants from cadmium toxicity.

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Jamison, J. Metallothionein biomediator. Nat Biotechnol 18, 586 (2000).

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