Microbial Indicators for Monitoring Pollution and Bioremediation


Tingting Xu, Nicole Perry, Archana Chauhan, Gary Sayler, Steven Ripp


The environmental deposition of chemical pollutants requires surveillance strategies to detect and warn of potentially detrimental and hazardous exposure events and to define endpoint remediation metrics when contaminated sites are destined for cleanup. Although analytical chemical methods like gas chromatography/mass spectrometry offer exquisite sensitivity and specificity when called upon to identify and quantify chemical constituents in a variety of environmental matrices, their associated complexity and expense fail to complement the oftentimes rapid, on-line needs of environmental monitoring and bioremediation process monitoring and control. However, whole cell living microorganisms have found a unique niche in doing so and have been applied under numerous environmental regimens to monitor for and bioindicate the presence of deleterious chemical pollutants via their ability to express measurable signals in response to target chemical exposures. The design and performance of these engineered bioreporter organisms will be discussed in this chapter to provide an overview of their application potential and advanced biomonitoring competencies.

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Xu T, Perry N, Chauhan A, Sayler G, Ripp S. 2014. Microbial indicators for monitoring pollution and bioremediation, p. 115-132. In Das S (ed.), Microbial Biodegradation and Bioremediation. Elsevier, New York, NY.