Author(s): Subashchandrabose SR, Ramakrishnan B, Megharaj M, Venkateswarlu K, Naidu R
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Abstract Millions of natural and synthetic organic chemical substances are present in both soil and aquatic environments. Toxicity and/or persistence determine the polluting principle of these substances. The biological responses to these pollutants include accumulation and degradation. The responses of environments with organic pollutants are perceptible from the dwindling degradative abilities of microorganisms. Among different biological members, cyanobacteria and microalgae are highly adaptive through many eons, and can grow autotrophically, heterotrophically or mixotrophically. Mixotrophy in cyanobacteria and microalgae can provide many competitive advantages over bacteria and fungi in degrading organic pollutants. Laboratory culturing of strict phototrophic algae has limited the realization of their potential as bioremediation agents. In the natural assemblages, mixotrophic algae can contribute to sequestration of carbon, which is otherwise emitted as carbon dioxide to the atmosphere under heterotrophic conditions by other organisms. Molecular methods and metabolic and genomic information will help not only in identification and selection of mixotrophic species of cyanobacteria and microalgae with capabilities to degrade organic pollutants but also in monitoring the efficiency of remediation efforts under the field conditions. These organisms are relatively easier for genetic engineering with desirable traits. This review presents a new premise from the literature that mixotrophic algae and cyanobacteria are distinctive bioremediation agents with capabilities to sequester carbon in the environment. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Environ Int
and referenced in Journal of Aquaculture Research & Development