Nanoparticles formed from bacterial oxyanion reduction of toxic Group 15 and 16 metalloids

By: , and 
Edited by: J.F. Stolz and Ronald S. Oremland



This chapter presents some examples of nanoparticles formed by only a few microbial species that are cultivated in only a handful of laboratories worldwide. The investigations so far have just scratched the surface of the potential of the natural world to yield bionanomineral producers. While future research should involve screening surveys of the prokaryotes for this biomineralizing phenomenon, more detailed investigations are justified. The chapter discusses microbial Interaction with Group 15 and 16 Toxic Metalloids. The toxicity of the metalloids Se, Te, and As is due to the disruption of thiol intracellular biochemistry through the formation of stable, long-lived sulfur complexes. Selenium oxyanion reduction occurs in a wide range of microbes, including representatives of the , and  genera. Technological applications of Se(0) and Te(0) nanoparticles include their use in photocopiers, microelectronic circuits, and solar cells as a result of their photo-optical and semiconducting physical properties. Nonetheless, once novel Se, Te, and As bionanoparticles are identified as having significant technical applications, applied research into their practical commercial production will without doubt ensue rapidly.

Additional publication details

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Nanoparticles formed from bacterial oxyanion reduction of toxic Group 15 and 16 metalloids
Chapter 16
ISBN 978-1-55581-536-3
DOI 10.1128/9781555817190
Year Published 2011
Language English
Publisher ASM
Publisher location Washington, D.C.
Contributing office(s) Toxic Substances Hydrology Program, National Research Program - Western Branch
Description 23 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Title Microbial metal and metalloid metabolism: Advances and applications
First page 297
Last page 319