About this Research Topic
Environmental biotechnology has been applied for remediation, pollution control and resource recovery. Recently, there are critical needs to develop innovative and effective solutions for new environmental problems, such as widespread detection of emerging contaminants, increased emission of greenhouse gases, challenges in conversion of wastes to energy/value-added chemicals, sanitation and hygiene, to name a few. Environmental biotechnology harnesses the power of microorganisms by understanding and engineering microorganisms at the process, microbial community or cell level. However, it is sometimes very challenging to achieve desirable biological processes by using conventional approaches. One example is the removal of recalcitrant pollutants, such as microplastics and persistent organic pollutants, for which biodegradation can be very slow. The advancement of synthetic and systems biology allows for creating and engineering novel biological functionalities at the molecular level, and thus provides a great opportunity to evolve environmental biotechnology.
Synthetic and systems biology is revolutionary in various aspects of science and technology. Besides the advances in medical and bioproduction areas, these methods have been introduced, although still in the infant stage, to environmental engineering and science. Synthetic biology enables the implementation of functional gene clusters and genetic circuits for targeted detection and conversion of environmentally relevant chemicals and signals. Systems biology provides top-down insights into all molecular levels of living organisms and microbiomes in nature via omics technology, bioinformatics and modeling. These advances have been reshaping environmental biotechnology to address emerging environmental problems.
Accordingly, this Research Topic is initiated to collect articles which report, review or foresee novel biotechnologies coupled with synthetic and systems biology for understanding and solving environmental issues. The Research Topic aims to provide a platform to merge ideas and concepts in environmental engineering, synthetic biology, systems biology, and bioprocess engineering for developing technologies for a more sustainable society.
All article types, including original research, review and opinion, are welcome. The theme contains but not limited to the following:
• Development of synthetic whole-cell or enzyme biocatalysts, biosorbents, and other biomaterials with engineered microorganisms for environmental solutions.
• Engineering synthetic biological systems such as biofilms and microbial consortia relevant to environmental processes.
• Design and construct of biosensors with genetic modules/circuits for contaminant, nucleic acid or pathogen detection.
• Applying mathematical and computational models/algorithms with omics and bioinformatics for environmentally relevant microorganisms, microbial communities, and bioprocesses.
Keywords: Environmental Biotechnology, Synthetic Biology, Systems Biology
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.