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Microbial processes that eliminate organic environmental contamination are important. Progress in the biotechnology of biodegradation relies upon the underlying sciences of environmental microbiology and analytical geochemistry. Recent key discoveries advancing knowledge of biodegradation (in general) and the aromatic-hydrocarbon biodegradation (in particular) have relied upon characterization of microorganisms: pure-culture isolates, laboratory enrichment cultures, and in contaminated field sites. New analytical and molecular tools (ranging from sequencing the DNA of biodegrading microorganisms to assessing changes in the isotopic ratios of 13C to 12C and 2H to 1H in contaminant pools in field sites) have deepened our insights into the mechanisms (how), the occurrence (what), and the identity (who) of active players that effect biodegradation of organic environmental pollutants. Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Ltd.


Che Ok Jeon, Eugene L Madsen. In situ microbial metabolism of aromatic-hydrocarbon environmental pollutants. Current opinion in biotechnology. 2013 Jun;24(3):474-81

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PMID: 22999827

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