Reflection on Molecular Approaches Influencing State-of-the-Art Bioremediation Design: Culturing to Microbial Community Fingerprinting to Omics.


Journal Article

Bioremediation is generally viewed as a cost effective and sustainable technology because it relies on microbes to transform pollutants into benign compounds. Advances in molecular biological analyses allow unprecedented microbial detection and are increasingly incorporated into bioremediation. Throughout history, state-of-the-art techniques have informed bioremediation strategies. However, the insights those techniques provided were not as in depth as those provided by recently developed omics tools. Advances in next generation sequencing (NGS) have now placed metagenomics and metatranscriptomics within reach of environmental engineers. As NGS costs decrease, metagenomics and metatranscriptomics have become increasingly feasible options to rapidly scan sites for specific degradative functions and identify microorganisms important in pollutant degradation. These omic techniques are capable of revolutionizing biological treatment in environmental engineering by allowing highly sensitive characterization of previously uncultured microorganisms. Omics enables the discovery of novel microorganisms for use in bioaugmentation and supports systematic optimization of biostimulation strategies. This review describes the omics journey from roots in biology and medicine to its current status in environmental engineering including potential future directions in commercial application.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Czaplicki, LM; Gunsch, CK

Published Date

  • October 2016

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 142 / 10

PubMed ID

  • 28348455

Pubmed Central ID

  • 28348455

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1943-7870

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0733-9372

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1061/(asce)ee.1943-7870.0001141


  • eng