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  1. Mercury (Hg) methylation, methylmercury (MeHg) demethylation, and inorganic redox transformations of Hg are microbe-mediating processes that determine the fate and cycling of Hg and MeHg in many environments, and by doing so influence the health of humans and wild life. The discovery of the Hg methylation genes, hgcAB, in the last decade together with advances in high throughput and genome sequencing methods, have resulted in an expanded appreciation of the diversity of Hg methylating microbes. This review aims to describe experimentally confirmed and recently discovered hgcAB gene-carrying Hg methylating microbes; phylogenetic and taxonomic analyses are presented. In addition, the current knowledge on transformation mechanisms, the organisms that carry them out, and the impact of environmental parameters on Hg methylation, MeHg demethylation, and inorganic Hg reduction and oxidation is summarized. This knowledge provides a foundation for future action toward mitigating the impact of environmental Hg pollution.
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