Expressing a bacterial mercuric ion binding protein in plant for phytoremediation of heavy metals

Ju Liang Hsieh, Ching Yi Chen, Meng Hsuen Chiu, Mei fang Chein, Jo Shu Chang, Ginro Endo, Chieh Chen Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)


A specific mercuric ion binding protein (MerP) originating from transposon TnMERI1 of Bacillus megaterium strain MB1 isolated from Minamata Bay displayed good adsorption capability for a variety of heavy metals. In this study, the Gram-positive MerP protein was expressed in transgenic Arabidopsis to create a model system for phytoremediation of heavy metals. Under control of an actin promoter, the transgenic Arabidpsis showed higher tolerance and accumulation capacity for mercury, cadium and lead when compared with the control plant. Results from confocal microscopy analysis also indicate that MerP was localized at the cell membrane and vesicles of plant cells. The developed transgenic plants possessing excellent metal-accumulative ability could have potential applications in decontamination of heavy metals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)920-925
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Jan 30
Externally publishedYes


  • Biosorption
  • Gram-positive bacterial MerP
  • Heavy metals
  • Mercuric ion binding protein
  • Phytoremediation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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