About this Research Topic
Chlorinated and nitrated xenobiotic chemicals are used as building blocks for industrial and agricultural chemicals such as dyes, explosives, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, and herbicides. These chemicals pose a serious risk to life due to their toxicity and persistence in the environment. However, microorganisms have developed novel catabolic pathways to use these xenobiotics as carbon and energy sources by horizontal and lateral transfer of preexisting promiscuous gene-enzyme systems that can catalyze individual steps of the catabolic pathways. In combination with traditional functional biochemical approaches, advent of next generation DNA sequencing techniques and their integration with computational biology has significantly increased our understanding of biochemical and genetic processes involved in evolution of catabolic pathways of recalcitrant xenobiotic compounds in microorganisms. A collection of research articles and review articles is extremely timely for assisting the research community interested in studies on microbial degradation of xenobiotics in general and the evolution of microbial catabolic pathways for chlorinated and nitrated xenobiotic chemicals in particular.
The proposed research topic aims to provide a platform to evaluate biochemical and genetic aspects of catabolic pathway evolution in bacteria for nitrated and halogenated xenobiotic compounds. In particular its ambition is to bring together a unique collection of peer-reviewed articles that represent utilization of latest “state of the art” molecular approaches (including Next Generation Sequencing, Environmental Genomics, Single Cell Genomics, Comparative Genomics, Functional genomics, Proteomics, and Directed Evolution, etc.). Integration of these newer approaches with gold standard approaches typical to microbiological and biochemical studies will be valuable for defining the processes through which evolution of catabolic pathways and the cognate gene-enzyme systems for microbial degradation of recalcitrant xenobiotic compounds might have taken place.
The scope for this research topic is of an all-inclusive nature with regards to microbial degradation of recalcitrant nitro and halogenated xenobiotic compounds. Original research papers and insightful reviews will be considered. Researchers are encouraged to employ interdisciplinary approaches including Computational Investigation, Mathematical Modeling and Experimental Studies (both in vitro as well as in situ studies) for defining the following aspects of involved in microbial degradation and microbial responses to nitro and halogenated xenobiotic compounds:
• Processes through which evolution of catabolic pathways and the cognate gene-enzyme systems for microbial degradation of recalcitrant xenobiotic compounds might have taken place
• cis and trans factors influencing this evolution and their corresponding mechanisms
• Impacts of evolutionary events on alternation of degradation efficiency and in turn the environmental fate of recalcitrant xenobiotic compounds in terrestrial and aquatic environments
• Targeted evolution/generation of engineered microbial strains capable of degrading complex xenobiotic compounds under in situ and/or controlled in vitro conditions.
Keywords: Recalcitrant xenobiotic compounds, Microbial metabolism, Microbial degradation, Evolution, Microbial Catabolic Pathways, Gene–Enzyme Systems
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.