About this Research Topic
Bioremediation, i.e. microorganisms mediated removal of toxicants from the environment, is an effective and safe way of soil decontamination and wastewater treatment. The interest in microbial compounds that can be used for bioremediation is constantly increasing, as they are a valuable material for various applications.
Diverse microorganisms form dense biofilms encased in exopolysaccharides (EPS). Microbial exopolysaccharides are high molecular weight polymers that consist mainly of carbohydrates and have many functional groups which can bond with metal ions. To date, numerous functional characteristics of EPS have been described, and their use in bioremediation increased due to their wide structural, physical and chemical diversity.
For instance, several studies have shown that EPS isolated from species Pseudomonas or Rhizobium are able to douse toxic heavy metals which makes them an excellent biological resource for removing contaminants from industrial effluents.
The goal of this Research Topic is to provide a platform for articles concerning the application of exopolysaccharides in the biodegradation of various toxicants, including heavy metals, organic contaminants or pharmaceutical compounds, in the context of environmental protection.
Furthermore, this Topic aims to describe current strategies used to improve bioremediation processes by the use of EPS, concerning efficiency, type of microorganisms and nature of the research carried out.
The themes of interest are in particular the following:
• Role of exopolysaccharides in degradation of organic contaminants: mechanisms, contributing factors and applications;
• Role of exopolysaccharides as part of biofilm forming microbial consortia in heavy metals removal from water and soil.
All submitted manuscripts must explore a clear hypothesis, merely descriptive papers won’t be considered for review.
Keywords: biodegradation, biosurfactants, crude oil, hydrocarbons, soil contamination
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.