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Selenium biomineralization for biotechnological applications

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-330
Number of pages8
JournalTrends in Biotechnology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


Selenium (Se) is not only a strategic element in high-tech electronics and an essential trace element in living organisms, but also a potential toxin with low threshold concentrations. Environmental biotechnological applications using bacterial biomineralization have the potential not only to remove selenium from contaminated waters, but also to sequester it in a reusable form. Selenium biomineralization has been observed in phylogenetically diverse microorganisms isolated from pristine and contaminated environments, yet it is one of the most poorly understood biogeochemical processes. Microbial respiration of selenium is unique because the microbial cells are presented with both soluble (SeO42- and SeO32- and insoluble (Se) forms of selenium as terminal electron acceptor. Here, we highlight selenium biomineralization and the potential biotechnological uses for it in bioremediation and wastewater treatment.


  • biomineralization, selenium bioreduction, selenium deficiency, selenium supplementation, selenium nanomaterials, wastewater treatment, ELEMENTAL SELENIUM, WASTE-WATER, RESPIRING BACTERIA, SELENATE REDUCTION, THAUERA-SELENATIS, BIOFILM REACTOR, HUMAN HEALTH, NANOPARTICLES, REMOVAL, SLUDGE

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