In this research, using mutation in the metal resistant bacteria, the bioremediation of the copper and zinc
from copper factory effluents was investigated. Wastewater effluents from flocculation and rolling mill
sections of a factory in the city of Kerman were collected and used for further experiments. 20 strains of
spp. were isolated from soil and effluents surrounding factory and identified by
microbiological methods. Minimum inhibitory concentrations for copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn) were
determined by agar dilution method. Those strains that exhibited highest minimum inhibitory
concentrations values to the metals (5mM) were subjected to 400-3200 mg/L concentrations of the three
mutagenic agents, acriflavine, acridine orange and ethidium bromide. After determination of
subinhibitory concentrations, the minimum inhibitory concentrations values for copper and zinc metal
ions were again determined, which showed more than 10 fold increase in minimum inhibitory
concentrations value (10 mM for Cu and 20 mM for Zn) with P≤0.05. The atomic absorption
spectroscopy of dried biomass obtained from resistant strains after exposure to mutagenic agents revealed
that strains 13 accumulate the highest amount of intracellular copper (0.35% Cu/mg dried biomass) and
strain 10 showed highest accumulation of zinc (0.3% Zn/mg dried biomass) respectively with P≤0.05.
From above results it was concluded that the treatment of industrial waste containing heavy metals by
artificially mutated bacteria may be appropriate solution for effluent disposal problems.