Special Issue "Microorganisms for Environmental and Industrial Applications"

A special issue of Microorganisms (ISSN 2076-2607). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Microbiology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 September 2017)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Anna H. Kaksonen

CSIRO Land and Water, 147 Underwood Avenue, Floreat, WA 6014, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Interests: biomining; bioleaching; biooxidation; bioreduction; bioprecipitation; biocorrosion; biogeochemistry; bioflotation; biofouling; biohydrometallurgy; biotechnical treatment

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Microorganisms play a key role in the biogeochemical cycling of various elements, and can therefore be used for various environmental and industrial applications. Examples of microbially catalysed processes are biodegradation, bioleaching, bioprecipitation, biooxidation, bioreduction, bioaccumulation and bioflotation. These can be used for degrading and removing contaminants from water, soil and air, extracting value from low grade resources and waste streams, and generating value added products, such as energy, nanomaterials and chemicals. Microorganisms utilised in environmental and industrial applications include a range of bacteria, archaea and eukaryotes such as fungi and microalgae. For this Special Issue of Microorganisms, we invite you to send contributions concerning any aspects relating to microorganisms utilised in environmental and industrial applications, including but not limited to ecology, diversity, physiology, detection methods and processes.

Anna H. Kaksonen
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Microorganisms is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 350 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

•    bioflotation
•    biodegradation
•    bioenergy
•    bioleaching
•    biomining
•    biooxidation
•    bioprecipitation
•    bioreduction
•    bioremediation
•    biotechnical treatment
•    environmental microbiology
•    industrial microbiology
•    resource recovery

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Relationship among Phosphorus Circulation Activity, Bacterial Biomass, pH, and Mineral Concentration in Agricultural Soil
Microorganisms 2017, 5(4), 79; doi:10.3390/microorganisms5040079
Received: 4 October 2017 / Revised: 20 November 2017 / Accepted: 1 December 2017 / Published: 4 December 2017
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Abstract
Improvement of phosphorus circulation in the soil is necessary to enhance phosphorus availability to plants. Phosphorus circulation activity is an index of soil’s ability to supply soluble phosphorus from organic phosphorus in the soil solution. To understand the relationship among phosphorus circulation activity;
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Improvement of phosphorus circulation in the soil is necessary to enhance phosphorus availability to plants. Phosphorus circulation activity is an index of soil’s ability to supply soluble phosphorus from organic phosphorus in the soil solution. To understand the relationship among phosphorus circulation activity; bacterial biomass; pH; and Fe, Al, and Ca concentrations (described as mineral concentration in this paper) in agricultural soil, 232 soil samples from various agricultural fields were collected and analyzed. A weak relationship between phosphorus circulation activity and bacterial biomass was observed in all soil samples (R2 = 0.25), and this relationship became significantly stronger at near-neutral pH (6.0–7.3; R2 = 0.67). No relationship between phosphorus circulation activity and bacterial biomass was observed at acidic (pH < 6.0) or alkaline (pH > 7.3) pH. A negative correlation between Fe and Al concentrations and phosphorus circulation activity was observed at acidic pH (R2 = 0.72 and 0.73, respectively), as well as for Ca at alkaline pH (R2 = 0.64). Therefore, bacterial biomass, pH, and mineral concentration should be considered together for activation of phosphorus circulation activity in the soil. A relationship model was proposed based on the effects of bacterial biomass and mineral concentration on phosphorus circulation activity. The suitable conditions of bacterial biomass, pH, and mineral concentration for phosphorus circulation activity could be estimated from the relationship model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microorganisms for Environmental and Industrial Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Microbial Community Structure and Functions in Ethanol-Fed Sulfate Removal Bioreactors for Treatment of Mine Water
Microorganisms 2017, 5(3), 61; doi:10.3390/microorganisms5030061
Received: 9 June 2017 / Revised: 14 September 2017 / Accepted: 19 September 2017 / Published: 20 September 2017
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Abstract
Sulfate-rich mine water must be treated before it is released into natural water bodies. We tested ethanol as substrate in bioreactors designed for biological sulfate removal from mine water containing up to 9 g L−1 sulfate, using granular sludge from an industrial
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Sulfate-rich mine water must be treated before it is released into natural water bodies. We tested ethanol as substrate in bioreactors designed for biological sulfate removal from mine water containing up to 9 g L−1 sulfate, using granular sludge from an industrial waste water treatment plant as inoculum. The pH, redox potential, and sulfate and sulfide concentrations were measured twice a week over a maximum of 171 days. The microbial communities in the bioreactors were characterized by qPCR and high throughput amplicon sequencing. The pH in the bioreactors fluctuated between 5.0 and 7.7 with the highest amount of up to 50% sulfate removed measured around pH 6. Dissimilatory sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) constituted only between 1% and 15% of the bacterial communities. Predicted bacterial metagenomes indicated a high prevalence of assimilatory sulfate reduction proceeding to formation of l-cystein and acetate, assimilatory and dissimilatory nitrate reduction, denitrification, and oxidation of ethanol to acetaldehyde with further conversion to ethanolamine, but not to acetate. Despite efforts to maintain optimal conditions for biological sulfate reduction in the bioreactors, only a small part of the microorganisms were SRB. The microbial communities were highly diverse, containing bacteria, archaea, and fungi, all of which affected the overall microbial processes in the bioreactors. While it is important to monitor specific physicochemical parameters in bioreactors, molecular assessment of the microbial communities may serve as a tool to identify biological factors affecting bioreactor functions and to optimize physicochemical attributes for ideal bioreactor performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microorganisms for Environmental and Industrial Applications)
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Open AccessArticle MALDI-TOF MS for the Identification of Cultivable Organic-Degrading Bacteria in Contaminated Groundwater near Unconventional Natural Gas Extraction Sites
Microorganisms 2017, 5(3), 47; doi:10.3390/microorganisms5030047
Received: 28 June 2017 / Revised: 21 July 2017 / Accepted: 7 August 2017 / Published: 10 August 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1609 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Groundwater quality and quantity is of extreme importance as it is a source of drinking water in the United States. One major concern has emerged due to the possible contamination of groundwater from unconventional oil and natural gas extraction activities. Recent studies have
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Groundwater quality and quantity is of extreme importance as it is a source of drinking water in the United States. One major concern has emerged due to the possible contamination of groundwater from unconventional oil and natural gas extraction activities. Recent studies have been performed to understand if these activities are causing groundwater contamination, particularly with respect to exogenous hydrocarbons and volatile organic compounds. The impact of contaminants on microbial ecology is an area to be explored as alternatives for water treatment are necessary. In this work, we identified cultivable organic-degrading bacteria in groundwater in close proximity to unconventional natural gas extraction. Pseudomonas stutzeri and Acinetobacter haemolyticus were identified using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time-of-flight-mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS), which proved to be a simple, fast, and reliable method. Additionally, the potential use of the identified bacteria in water and/or wastewater bioremediation was studied by determining the ability of these microorganisms to degrade toluene and chloroform. In fact, these bacteria can be potentially applied for in situ bioremediation of contaminated water and wastewater treatment, as they were able to degrade both compounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microorganisms for Environmental and Industrial Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Tellurite and Tellurate Reduction by the Aerobic Anoxygenic Phototroph Erythromonas ursincola, Strain KR99 Is Carried out by a Novel Membrane Associated Enzyme
Microorganisms 2017, 5(2), 20; doi:10.3390/microorganisms5020020
Received: 20 March 2017 / Revised: 12 April 2017 / Accepted: 16 April 2017 / Published: 19 April 2017
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Abstract
Erythromonas ursincola, strain KR99 isolated from a freshwater thermal spring of Kamchatka Island in Russia, resists and reduces very high levels of toxic tellurite under aerobic conditions. Reduction is carried out by a constitutively expressed membrane associated enzyme, which was purified and
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Erythromonas ursincola, strain KR99 isolated from a freshwater thermal spring of Kamchatka Island in Russia, resists and reduces very high levels of toxic tellurite under aerobic conditions. Reduction is carried out by a constitutively expressed membrane associated enzyme, which was purified and characterized. The tellurite reductase has a molecular weight of 117 kDa, and is comprised of two subunits (62 and 55 kDa) in a 1:1 ratio. Optimal activity occurs at pH 7.0 and 28 °C. Tellurite reduction has a Vmax of 5.15 µmol/min/mg protein and a Km of 3.36 mM. The enzyme can also reduce tellurate with a Vmax and Km of 1.08 µmol/min/mg protein and 1.44 mM, respectively. This is the first purified membrane associated Te oxyanion reductase. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microorganisms for Environmental and Industrial Applications)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Biotechnological Applications of Microbial (Per)chlorate Reduction
Microorganisms 2017, 5(4), 76; doi:10.3390/microorganisms5040076
Received: 5 October 2017 / Revised: 18 November 2017 / Accepted: 22 November 2017 / Published: 24 November 2017
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Abstract
While the microbial degradation of a chloroxyanion-based herbicide was first observed nearly ninety years ago, only recently have researchers elucidated the underlying mechanisms of perchlorate and chlorate [collectively, (per)chlorate] respiration. Although the obvious application of these metabolisms lies in the bioremediation and attenuation
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While the microbial degradation of a chloroxyanion-based herbicide was first observed nearly ninety years ago, only recently have researchers elucidated the underlying mechanisms of perchlorate and chlorate [collectively, (per)chlorate] respiration. Although the obvious application of these metabolisms lies in the bioremediation and attenuation of (per)chlorate in contaminated environments, a diversity of alternative and innovative biotechnological applications has been proposed based on the unique metabolic abilities of dissimilatory (per)chlorate-reducing bacteria (DPRB). This is fueled in part by the unique ability of these organisms to generate molecular oxygen as a transient intermediate of the central pathway of (per)chlorate respiration. This ability, along with other novel aspects of the metabolism, have resulted in a wide and disparate range of potential biotechnological applications being proposed, including enzymatic perchlorate detection; gas gangrene therapy; enhanced xenobiotic bioremediation; oil reservoir bio-souring control; chemostat hygiene control; aeration enhancement in industrial bioreactors; and, biogenic oxygen production for planetary exploration. While previous reviews focus on the fundamental science of microbial (per)chlorate reduction (for example see Youngblut et al., 2016), here, we provide an overview of the emerging biotechnological applications of (per)chlorate respiration and the underlying organisms and enzymes to environmental and biotechnological industries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microorganisms for Environmental and Industrial Applications)
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