Influence of bacteria on Pb and Zn speciation, mobility and bioavailability in soil: A laboratory study

S. C. Wu, Y. M. Luo, K. C. Cheung, Ming Hung WONG*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

115 Citations (Scopus)


A soil column experiment was carried out to investigate the effects of inoculation of bacteria on metal bioavailability, mobility and potential leachability through single chemical extraction, consequential extraction and in situ soil solution extraction technologies. Results showed that bacteria inoculated, including Azotobacter chroococcum, Bacillus megaterium and Bacillus mucilaginosus, may pose both positive and negative impacts on bioavailability and mobility of heavy metals in soil, depending on the chemical nature of the metals. The activities of bacteria led to an increase of water dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentration and a decrease of pH value, which enhanced metal mobility and bioavailability (e.g. an increase of water-soluble and HOAc-soluble Zn). On the other hand, bacteria could immobilize metals (e.g. a great reduction of water-soluble Pb) due to the adsorption by bacterial cell walls and possible sedimentation reactions with phosphate or other anions produced through bacterial metabolism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)765-773
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2006

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

User-Defined Keywords

  • Bacterial inoculation
  • Metal bioavailability
  • Metal mobility
  • Metal speciation
  • Soil column


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