This study is focused on isolation of Ni(II), Cu(II) and Cr(VI) resistant bacteria to assess their exopolysaccharide (EPS) production and related bioremoval capacities. Mixed cultures had higher heavy metal removal capacity in media with molasses (MAS) than the control cultures lacking this carbon (AS) containing 50 mg/l of heavy metal. The yields were 32%, 75.7%, and 51.1% in MAS, while the corresponding values were 29%, 55.1%, and 34.5% in AS, respectively. Purification of the strains 1, 5 and 6 present in the mixed cultures decreased the bioremoval capacities of the mixed culture samples, although these strains produced higher EPS amounts in MAS agar. Strain 5 had the highest Cu(II) (69.1%) and Cr(VI) (43.1%) removal rates at 25 mg/l initial concentration of each pollutant with EPS amounts of 0.74 g/l and 1.05 g/l, respectively. This strain was identified as Stenotrophomonas maltophilia. The presented data show that especially mixed and also pure cultures of bacterial strains isolated from Ankara Stream could be assessed as potential bioremoval agents in the treatment of Cu(II) or Cr(VI) containing wastewaters.

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