Arsenic is the most prevalent environmental toxic element and causes health problems throughout the world. The toxicity, mobility, and fate of arsenic in the environment are largely determined by its speciation, and arsenic speciation changes are driven, at least to some extent, by biological processes. In this article, biotransformation of arsenic is reviewed from the perspective of the formation of Earth and the evolution of life, and the connection between arsenic geochemistry and biology is described. The article provides a comprehensive overview of molecular mechanisms of arsenic redox and methylation cycles as well as other arsenic biotransformations. It also discusses the implications of arsenic biotransformation in environmental remediation and food safety, with particular emphasis on groundwater arsenic contamination and arsenic accumulation in rice.


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