Molecular Techniques of Xenobiotic-Degrading Bacteria and Their Catabolic Genes in Bioremediation
This chapter summarizes developments in molecular-biology-based techniques of xenobiotic-degrading bacteria and their catabolic genes in bioremediation. Molecular probing has been used in conjunction with traditional most-probable-number (MPN) techniques in several studies. A combination of MPN and colony hybridization was used to monitor the microbial community of a flow-through lake microcosm seeded with a chlorobenzoate-degrading Alcaligenes strain. Genetic fingerprinting techniques provide a pattern or profile of the genetic diversity in a microbial community. Several fingerprinting techniques have been developed and used in microbial ecology studies such as bioremediation. In many laboratory biodegradation studies, bacterial cells that are metabolically capable of degrading/mineralizing a pollutant are added to contaminated environmental samples to determine the potential biodegradation of target compound(s). Molecular-biology-based techniques in bioremediation are being increasingly used, and have provided useful information for improving bioremediation strategies and assessing the impact of bioremediation treatments on ecosystems.