alexa Genetically engineered bacteria: an emerging tool for environmental remediation and future research perspectives.
Environmental Sciences

Environmental Sciences

Journal of Bioremediation & Biodegradation

Author(s): Singh JS, Abhilash PC, Singh HB, Singh RP, Singh DP

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Abstract This minireview explores the environmental bioremediation mediated by genetically engineered (GE) bacteria and it also highlights the limitations and challenges associated with the release of engineered bacteria in field conditions. Application of GE bacteria based remediation of various heavy metal pollutants is in the forefront due to eco-friendly and lesser health hazards compared to physico-chemical based strategies, which are less eco-friendly and hazardous to human health. A combination of microbiological and ecological knowledge, biochemical mechanisms and field engineering designs would be an essential element for successful in situ bioremediation of heavy metal contaminated sites using engineered bacteria. Critical research questions pertaining to the development and implementation of GE bacteria for enhanced bioremediation have been identified and poised for possible future research. Genetic engineering of indigenous microflora, well adapted to local environmental conditions, may offer more efficient bioremediation of contaminated sites and making the bioremediation more viable and eco-friendly technology. However, many challenges are to be addressed concerning the release of genetically engineered bacteria in field conditions. There are possible risks associated with the use of GE bacteria in field condition, with particular emphasis on ways in which molecular genetics could contribute to the risk mitigation. Both environmental as well as public health concerns need to be addressed by the molecular biologists. Although bioremediation of heavy metals by using the genetically engineered bacteria has been extensively reviewed in the past also, but the bio-safety assessment and factors of genetic pollution have been never the less ignored. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. This article was published in Gene and referenced in Journal of Bioremediation & Biodegradation

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