Emerging Technologies to Analyze Natural Attenuation and Bioremediation
Kazuya Watanabe and Yuki Kasai
from: Microbial Biodegradation: Genomics and Molecular Biology (Edited by: Eduardo Díaz). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2008)
Natural attenuation is one of several cost-saving options for the treatment of polluted environment, in which microorganisms contribute to pollutant degradation. For risk assessments and endpoint forecasting, natural attenuation sites should be carefully monitored (monitored natural attenuation). When site assessments require rapid removal of pollutants, bioremediation, categorized into biostimulation (introduction of nutrients and chemicals to stimulate indigenous microorganisms) and bioaugmentation (inoculation with exogenous microorganisms), can be applied. In such a case, special attention should be paid to its influences on indigenous biota and the dispersal and outbreak of inoculated organisms. Recent advances in microbial ecology have provided molecular technologies, e.g., detection of degradative genes, community fingerprinting and metagenomics, which are applicable to the analysis and monitoring of indigenous and inoculated microorganisms in polluted sites. Scientists have started to use some of these technologies for the assessment of natural attenuation and bioremediation in order to increase their effectiveness and reliability. This chapter outlines these technologies and discusses how they can contribute to natural attenuation and bioremediation read more ...