About this Research Topic
Arsenic (As) is a toxic element, widely distributed in nature, and so microorganisms have developed a good number of resistance mechanisms. Industrial activities can increase the environmental concentration of As, severely impacting both health and the environment, leading to biodiversity deterioration. Several physical-chemical techniques exist for the clean-up of arsenic-contaminated systems, however most of them are expensive and not eco-friendly.
In the light of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (which must be met by 2030), bioremediation has been highlighted as a key technology to achieve these goals. However, bioremediation processes are complex to develop in vivo as well as to scale-up to the field conditions. Understanding of the molecular determinants underlying arsenic resistance is increasing continuously, and that knowledge can be used to both develop improved strategic frameworks for biotechnology-based bioremediation, and to design new biosensors based on molecules able to recognize arsenic species.
Using OMICs for identification and further characterisation of genes and enzymes involved in As respiratory pathways, as well as the role of microorganisms in the As removal in plants under arsenic stress, will allow for the development of novel As bioremediation strategies, both in situ and ex situ.
The aim of this Research Topic is to explore new approaches, based on synthetic and system biology, to address concerns of arsenic in the environment, including:
(i) the description of new molecular determinants responsible for the arsenic resistance,
(ii) the development of new arsenic biosensors based on cell-associated or cell-free systems,
(iii) the design of new synthetic molecular circuits in bacteria, fungi or plants to eliminate arsenic compounds from soil or waters, and
(iv) strategies based on the association of bacteria/fungi with plants for phytoremediation of soils contaminated with arsenic.
Note that all articles should investigate a hypothesis or a scientific question, while merely descriptive articles won't be considered for review.
Keywords: arsenic, biosensors
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.