1Associate Professor, Department of Microbiology, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran.
2Instructor, High tech Research Center, Kerman, Iran
3Research Assistant, High tech Research Center, Kerman, Iran
4Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Biology, Shahid Bahonar University, Kerman, Iran
Background & Aims: Today, toxic effluents have created ecological and health problems in and around the industrial cities resulting in death of nearby living organisms. The aim of this research was to increase the elimination of copper and zinc from copper factory effluents in Kerman/Iran through mutation inducing in metal-resistant bacteria by using Acriflavine, Acridine orange and Ethidium bromide. Methods: A total of 20 strains of Pseudomonas spp. were isolated from water and soil of the factory and subjected to microbiological identification. Maximum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) to Cu and Zn were determined by agar dilution method. Those strains with the highest MIC to these metals (5mM) were subjected to 400-3200mg/L of the above mutagenic agents. After determination of MIC those colonies which were capable to grow on 20mM copper were selected for atomic absorption spectroscopy. Results: According to the atomic absorption spectroscopy of dried biomass obtained from resistant strains after exposure to mutagenic agents, strains 6,7,8,9,10,13 & 16 showed the highest accumulation of CU and Zn (10mM for Cu & 20mM for Zn). Strain 13 had the highest absorption of Cu (0. 35%/mg biomass) and strain 10 showed the highest accumulation of Zn (0.33%/mg biomass). Conclusion: Elimination of heavy metals by artificially mutated bacteria can be suggested as a cost effective solution to this environmental health issue.