Environmental Microbiology: Advanced Research and Multidisciplinary Applications

Microbial Degradation, Bioremediation and Biotransformation

Author(s): Sameena Lone*, Khursheed Hussain and Abdel Rahman Al-Tawaha

Pp: 137-151 (15)

DOI: 10.2174/9781681089584122010009

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


At present, the world is reeling under the problem of different environmental pollutions, viz., soil, water, and air pollution, as a result of anthropogenic activities, intensive inorganic agriculture, industrial revolution releasing a wide array of xenobiotics. Across the world, scientists are trying to overcome pollution through physical, chemical, and thermal processes. The major drawbacks of these methods include their labor-intensive nature, high cost, and undesirable changes in the treated soil's physical, chemical and biological characteristics. The only alternative solution to overcome this challenge is microorganisms. The microorganisms transform the various substances through their metabolic activity. It mainly depends on two processes. growth and cometabolism. Growth refers to the process which results in complete degradation (mineralization) of organic pollutants. Hence, the only source of carbon and energy in growth is an organic pollutant. On the other hand, cometabolism refers to the process in which the metabolism of an organic compound takes place in the presence of a growth substrate, which is used as the primary source of carbon and energy. For maintaining the global carbon cycle and renewing our environment, microorganisms have an essential role to play. The various microbial activities are comprehended in biodegradation, bioremediation, and biotransformation. Substances transformed by microorganisms include a wide range of synthetic compounds and other chemical substances like hydrocarbons and heavy metals, which have toxic ecological effects. However, in most cases, this statement is concerned with the potential degradabilities of microorganisms estimated under ideal growth conditions using selected laboratory cultures. 

Keywords: Biodegradation, Bioremediation, Biotransformation Cometabolism, Microorganisms.

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