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Microbes, Bioremediation and Contaminants.docx

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McMaster University
Life Sciences
Luc Bernier

April 3 , 2013 Life Sci 2H03: Environmental Life Sciences Microbes, Bioremediation and Contaminants Typical Bioremediation Reactions for Contaminated Environments - distinct zones in which different degradative processes dominate - chlorinated compounds are more difficult for microbes in the sub surface to breakdown - depending on the level of oxygenation there is a shift from microbes using oxygen - moving deeper: anaerobic conditions - methanogens - sulphate reducers - iron reducers - predominate conditions depend on oxygen and level of substrate available - proximity of source ) s2atus - chlorinated contaminants: dechlorination in the CH2, SO42- reduction or Fe(II) reduction zones - concentration of contaminants plays a role in deciding what processes will take place Active Remediation vs. Environmental Restoration by Natural Attenuation - bioremediation now regarded as the default method for the rehabilitation of polluted environments - most intensive: ex situ (digging up soil and pumping to areas that will treat) treatments with specialized organisms - or through: stimulation of indigenous microbial communities - passive involves monitoring of: in situ natural attenuation Integrative Approaches for Assessing the Ecological Sustainability of in situ Bioremediation - least potential for long term sustainable success - in situ bioremediation potential Evolution of Pure Cultures and Their Application to the Study of Microbial Communities - attempts are generally made to isolate the organisms responsible of bioremediation Bacterial Approaches to Pollutant Degradation - bacteria typically use the pollutants as growth substrates - use of specific biochemical pathways Geobacter Species in the Subsurface - geobacter metallireducens specifically produces flagella/pilo only when the organism is growing on: insoluble Fe(III) or Mn(IV) oxides - roles: aid in at
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