Environmental Microbiology: Advanced Research and Multidisciplinary Applications (2022)

Table of Contents
Book Volume 1 Introduction

Book Volume 1


Page: i-i (1)
Author: Arun Karnwal and Abdel Rahman Tawaha

List of Contributors

Page: ii-iii (2)
Author: Arun Karnwal and Abdel Rahman Tawaha

Environmental Microbiology: Introduction and Scope

Page: 1-21 (21)
Author: Dhriti Sharma, Savita Bhardwaj, Mamta Pujari, Renu Bhardwaj and Dhriti Kapoor*
PDF Price: $15


Environmental microbiology deals with the role of microorganisms insupporting a thriving, viable and inhabitable environment. It helps to figure out thenature and functioning of the microbial population residing in all parts of the biosphere,i.e., air, water, and soil. Microbes are known to affect the environment both negativelyand positively, as their contamination may lead to serious health issues on one hand,whereas various welfare activities like degradation of organic material, being a sourceof nutrients in food chains, recycling of nutrients, and bioremediation of pollutants arealso associated with them on the other hand. In a way, their practical importance makesthem a special tool in the hands of environment microbiologists to lessen thedeleterious impact of different environmental problems. The degradation potential ofmicrobes earns them a place in treating wastewater, containing organic and inorganicimpurities being originated in public and industrial arenas whereby minerals, nutrients,and a number of other eco-friendly by-products are also generated. Microbial specieslike Pseudomonas, Sphingomonas, and Wolinella are few among those species whichare commonly engaged in this process of degradation of harmful effluents beingcontinuously added into the environment, thus ensuring the safety and sustenance ofthe latter.Furthermore, their degradative abilities also help them to effectively confront andconquer the problem of oil spillage in sea waters resulting in less ecological damage.The manipulation of microbes in the present times has gained quite an important placein our lives in which this discipline of environmental microbiology contributes byunraveling all such possibilities of utilizing the microbes to our benefit. The presentchapter provides a deep insight into this important branch of microbiology and itsscope, which will help better understand its role in other fields such as agriculture,medicine, pharmacy, clinical research, and chemical and water industries.

Impact of Microbial Diversity on the Environment

Page: 22-40 (19)
Author: Hiba Alatrash*, Abdel Rahman M. Tawaha, Abdel Razzaq Al-Tawaha, Samia Khanum, Abdur Rauf, Arun Karnwal, Abhijit Dey, Sameena Lone, Khursheed Hussain, Palani Saranraj, Imran, Amanullah and Shah Khalid
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Microbial diversity is an essential aspect of any ecosystem on earth.Microorganisms are the most common and diversified population in the soil. A microbeis a microscopic organism that can be studied in a single-cell or colony. On the otherhand, microbes have a positive or negative effect on their surroundings. Microbialdiversity plays an essential role in bioremediation, which is the method of detoxifyingor neutralizing radioactive waste into less harmful or non-toxic compounds bysecreting various bacterial and fungal enzymes. In this chapter, we focus on (i) theimpact of microbial diversity on detoxifying pollutants (bioremediation), (ii) microbialrole in biofuel production, (iii) microbial role in ore leaching (bioleaching), (iv)microbial role in controlling biogeochemical cycles (v) microbial role in soil qualityand agriculture improvement (vi)

Rhizospheric Microbial Communication

Page: 41-66 (26)
Author: Shiv Shanker Gautam*, Navneet, Neelesh Babu and Ravindra Soni
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Rhizospheric soil is enriched with diverse microbial communities, whichgive rise to sophisticated plant-microbes interactions via chemical communication. Thebacteria attain communication through quorum sensing and lead to biofilm formation,developing connections between the cell density, and altering gene expression. Suchprocesses include diffusion and accumulation of signal molecules such as autoinduceri.e. acyl-homoserine lactones, Autoinducer-2 (AI-2), QS pheromone, etc. in theenvironment and trigger the expression of the gene. Due to increment in cell density,bacteria produce the substances that inhibit the growth of pathogens, fix nitrogen andoptimize nodule formation. Moreover, the adaptability of microbial communities understress conditions directly/indirectly was correlated with host plant growth. The plantsand soil microorganisms equally face the abiotic stresses and may cause environmentaltolerance and adaptability via complex physiological and cellular mechanisms. Therecent knowledge of the plant-microbe relationship and their communicationmechanisms can be helpful in the development and commercialization of agriculturalpractices to improve desired crop health and productivity under various abiotic andbiotic stresses. This chapter explores such habiting microbial communications inrhizosphere attributing to soil environment in various means.

Microbial Communication: A Significant Approach to Understanding Microbial Activities and Interactions

Page: 67-76 (10)
Author: Samia Khanum*, Abdel Rahman M. Tawaha, Abdel Razzaq Al-Tawaha, Hiba Alatrash, Abdur Rauf, Arun Karnwal, Abhijit Dey, Nujoud Alimad, Sameena Lone, Khursheed Hussain, Imran, Amanullah, Shah Khalid, Palani Saranraj and Abdul Basit
PDF Price: $15


To understand the interaction between different microbes, it is important tounderstand how they communicate with one another in their adjacent environment.These interactions are beneficial because when different microbes interact, theystimulate specific mechanisms, release signals, and result in the production andsynthesis of important vaccines, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agents, and secondarymetabolites. These metabolites are beneficial from a medicinal point of view as well.Many studies proved that specific metabolites are released only when they interact withother microorganisms in their adjacent environment. This is also proved throughchromatography and co-culturing of these microorganisms.

Nutrient Cycling: An Approach for Environmental Sustainability

Page: 77-104 (28)
Author: Sufiara Yousuf, Nafiaah Naqash and Rahul Singh*
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Nutrient cycling is an important environmental process and has been thefocus of ecological research. Nutrient cycling refers to the sufficient supply of keyelements provided through the ecological processes within and between various bioticor abiotic components of a cell, community, or ecosystem. Nutrient cycling alsoincludes the recovery and reuse of industrial, agricultural, and municipal organic debristhat are considered wastes. Nutrient cycles include biotic and abiotic componentsinvolved in biological, geological, and chemical processes known as biogeochemicalcycles. Changes occurring in such cycles may indicate or even alter the functioning ofthe ecosystem. Plants take up soil nutrients in terrestrial ecosystems for healthy growthand development, wherein soil acts as a nutrient reservoir. Nutrients are lost from suchsites due to soil erosion, denitrification, and food production, which cause reducedavailability of nutrients. Therefore, analyzing nutrients’ assimilation, transport throughbiota, and their release for subsequent re-assimilation is mandatory. Nutrients to berecycled essentially for the survival of organisms include macronutrients (C, O, H, N,K, P, Ca, Mg, S, and Cl) and micronutrients (Fe, Mn, Mo, Cu, Zn, Bo, Ni, Co, Na, Se,and I). This chapter presents the role of nutrients and nutrient cycling forenvironmental sustainability

Microbial Biosensors for Environmental Monitoring

Page: 105-136 (32)
Author: Ritu Bala, Manpreet Kaur Somal, Mukesh Kumar, Arun Karnwal and Rohan Samir Kumar Sachan*
PDF Price: $15


Unchecked disposal of substances or compounds such as organic/inorganicheavy metals, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), herbicides, pesticides, phenolic andnitrogenous compounds, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) ubiquitouslypresent in the environment poses a global concern. This requires constant monitoring ofenvironmental pollutants. Biological-based monitors and biosensors with highspecificity and sensitivity are applied to monitor and check the level of pollutants.These are biological-based methods used for the intervention of environmentalpollutants as analytes. The widely used biosensors are made by immobilizing variousenzymes, antibodies, whole cells in the devices, and transducers. Microbial biosensordevices sense the substances in the environment through the various biochemicalreactions of the microorganisms incorporated in the devices. However, with the ease ofgenetic modification techniques like genetic engineering technologies, variousmicroorganisms have gained immense popularity as ideal candidates for developingbiosensors. The microbial biosensors' inexpensiveness, compactness, and portabilityoffer advantages over conventional chemical sensors. The most significant aspect ofmicrobial biosensors is the in situ detection capability, and real-time analysis hasenhanced their acceptability and applicability in environmental monitoring. Thefollowing chapter deals with microbial biosensors to detect air, water, and soilpollutants

Microbial Degradation, Bioremediation and Biotransformation

Page: 137-151 (15)
Author: Sameena Lone*, Khursheed Hussain and Abdel Rahman Al-Tawaha
PDF Price: $15


At present, the world is reeling under the problem of different environmentalpollutions, viz., soil, water, and air pollution, as a result of anthropogenic activities,intensive inorganic agriculture, industrial revolution releasing a wide array ofxenobiotics. Across the world, scientists are trying to overcome pollution throughphysical, chemical, and thermal processes. The major drawbacks of these methodsinclude their labor-intensive nature, high cost, and undesirable changes in the treatedsoil's physical, chemical and biological characteristics. The only alternative solution toovercome this challenge is microorganisms. The microorganisms transform the varioussubstances through their metabolic activity. It mainly depends on two processes.growth and cometabolism. Growth refers to the process which results in completedegradation (mineralization) of organic pollutants. Hence, the only source of carbonand energy in growth is an organic pollutant.On the other hand, cometabolism refers to the process in which the metabolism of anorganic compound takes place in the presence of a growth substrate, which is used asthe primary source of carbon and energy. For maintaining the global carbon cycle andrenewing our environment, microorganisms have an essential role to play. The variousmicrobial activities are comprehended in biodegradation, bioremediation, andbiotransformation. Substances transformed by microorganisms include a wide range ofsynthetic compounds and other chemical substances like hydrocarbons and heavymetals, which have toxic ecological effects. However, in most cases, this statement isconcerned with the potential degradabilities of microorganisms estimated under idealgrowth conditions using selected laboratory cultures.

Bioremediation of Hazardous Organics in Industrial Refuse

Page: 152-162 (11)
Author: Riham Fouzi Zahalan*, Muhammad Manhal Awad Al-Zoubi and Abdel Rahman Mohammad Said Al Tawaha
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Increased population and industrial revolution, alongside the wrongagricultural management systems, are putting massive pressure on the natural resourcesavailable for human beings. Several international organizations are raising flags andknocking the future risks and costs of exhausting the available natural resources. Soil iscategorized as a slowly renewable resource to a limit that made soil experts classifysoil as a nonrenewable natural resource. Therefore, soil pollution is among the mostimportant issues discussed at the global level. However, soil remediation is very highcostly, time-taking, and needs experts for handling. Bioremediation is considered oneof the most promising methods of soil rehabilitation by simulating the behaviour ofnature in curing it. With lower costs, noticeable results, and eco-friendly alternativesolutions, bioremediation might be the most suitable strategy for polluted lands.

Role of Microbial Biofilms in Bioremediation

Page: 163-187 (25)
Author: Pratibha Vyas*, Amrita Kumari Rana and Kunwarpreet Kaur
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Various types of toxic chemicals and waste materials generated fromdifferent industrial processes have created environmental pollution leading to achallenge for healthy human life globally. There is a need to develop strategies forenvironmental renewal and maintaining healthy life. Bioremediation has emerged as apromising and eco-friendly approach as microorganisms have vast potential to removetoxic pollutants from the environment. Microbial biofilms can be used successfully forremoving environmental pollutants because of their ability to degrade, absorb andimmobilize a large number of pollutants from various sources. During bioremediation,metabolic activities of biofilm-forming microorganisms are used for degrading toxicenvironmental pollutants. Though information on the use of microbial biofilms forbioremediation is limited, biofilms have proved to be highly effective inbioremediation. The present chapter focuses on the application and potential ofmicrobial biofilms for the removal of environmental pollutants for sustainabledevelopment

Microbial Processing for Valorization of Waste and Application

Page: 188-210 (23)
Author: Muhammad Afzaal*, Farhan Saeed, Aftab Ahmad, Muhammad Saeed, Ifrah Usman and Muhammad Nouman
PDF Price: $15


Most of the waste generated from agriculture and other industries is a greatsource of soil and water pollution. The increase in agriculture waste across the globe isof great concern because of various environmental and economic issues. However,genetic engineering and microbial processing development have helped extract variousvaluable products from this waste. Microbes have the natural potential to degrade thisorganic waste. This chapter highlights the opportunities to bio-valorize agriculturalwaste through microbes and produces valuable enzymes, biofuels and bioactivecompounds. This chapter highlights how microbes may decrease the ever-increasingwaste to produce various valuable products for industrial use.

Subject Index

Page: 211-227 (17)
Author: Arun Karnwal and Abdel Rahman Tawaha


Environmental Microbiology: Advanced Research and Multidisciplinary Applications focus on the current research on microorganisms in the environment. Contributions in the volume cover several aspects of applied microbial research, basic research on microbial ecology and molecular genetics. The reader will find a collection of topics with theoretical and practical value, allowing them to connect environmental microbiology to a variety of subjects in life sciences, ecology, and environmental science topics. Advanced topics including biogeochemical cycling, microbial biosensors, bioremediation, application of microbial biofilms in bioremediation, application of microbial surfactants, microbes for mining and metallurgical operations, valorization of waste, and biodegradation of aromatic waste, microbial communication, nutrient cycling and biotransformation are also covered.The content is designed for advanced undergraduate students, graduate students, and environmental professionals, with a comprehensive and up-to-date discussion of environmental microbiology as a discipline that has greatly expanded in scope and interest over the past several decades.

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