Environmental copper pollution causes major destruction to ecological systems, which require the development of environmentally friendly biotechnological, in particular, microbial methods for copper removal. These methods rely on the availability of microorganisms resistant to high levels of copper. Here we isolated four bacterial strains with record resistance to up to 1.0 M Cu(II). The strains were isolated from ecologically diverse soil samples, and their genomes were sequenced. A 16S rRNA sequence-based phylogenetic analysis identified that all four isolates belong to the genus Pseudomonas. Particularly, strains UKR1 and UKR2 isolated from Kyiv region in Ukraine were identified as P. lactis and P. panacis, respectively, and strains UKR3 and UKR4 isolated from Svalbard Island in the Arctic Ocean and Galindez Island in Antarctica, respectively, were identified as P. veronii. Initial in-silico screening for genes encoding copper resistance mechanisms showed that all four strains encode copper resistance proteins CopA, CopB, CopD, CopA3, CopZ, as well as two-component regulatory system CusRS, all known to be associated with metal resistance in Pseudomonas genus. Further detailed studies will aim to characterize the full genomic potential of the isolates to enable their application for copper bioremediation in contaminated soils and industrial wastewaters.
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