Technological watch

Engineering microbes for enhancing the degradation of environmental pollutants: A detailed review on synthetic biology

Anthropogenic activities resulted in the deposition of huge quantities of contaminants such as heavy metals, dyes, hydrocarbons, etc into an ecosystem. The serious ill effects caused by these pollutants to all living organisms forced in advancement of technology for degrading or removing these pollutants. This degrading activity is mostly depending on microorganisms owing to their ability to survive in harsh adverse conditions. Though native strains possess the capability to degrade these pollutants the development of genetic engineering and molecular biology resulted in engineering approaches that enhanced the efficiency of microbes in degrading pollutants at faster rate. Many bioinformatics tools have been developed for altering/modifying genetic content in microbes to increase their degrading potency. This review provides a detailed note on engineered microbes – their significant importance in degrading environmental contaminants and the approaches utilized for modifying microbes. The genes responsible for degrading the pollutants have been identified and modified fir increasing the potential for quick degradation. The methods for increasing the tolerance in engineered microbes have also been discussed. Thus engineered microbes prove to be effective alternate compared to native strains for degrading pollutants.

Publication date: 01/11/2022

Author: P.R. Yaashikaa, M. Keerthana Devi, P. Senthil Kumar

Environmental Research


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 870292.