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Environmental

Microbiology and
Biotechnology
Biol 473

What is Environment?
Interaction of all biotic and abiotic factors
Abiotic factors include air, water, soil,

minerals, sunlight, rain


Biotic factors include animals, plants,

microorganisms, human beings

Biosphere
Biosphere is the living part of the planet

Earth.
All areas or ecosystems
Ecosystem can live without us, we cannot

Biotechnology
Techniques for utilizing living organisms or

their parts for making products.


Transgenic animals, plants, microorganisms

Environmental
Biotechnology
Treatment of contaminated ecosystems.
Solid wastes, contaminated air, liquid wastes
It includes use of microorganisms.
Examples are bacteria, yeast and even

unicelluar protists.

Growth of Biotech Companies in Germany

Industries that are making different products in Germany

Microorganisms
Found everywhere
Specific to specific environments
We can get a solution out of the problem
Example salinity tolerance in the organisms

living in saline areas

Understanding the role of


microorganism in biogeochemical cycles
Microorganisms play very important roles
These make the resources available for the

plants
If we exhausted our land for some nutrients

then microorganisms can help.

Microorganisms and wastes


treatment
Microorganisms are the natural decomposers
We can use this property to clean up almost

every kind of wastes


Microorganisms are used for cleaning solid

wastes, liquid wastes and even have potential


for cleaning nuclear wastes

GROWTH - CELL DIVISIO


O2 consumption
INCREASE IN BIOMASS
2.0m

ORGANIC POLLUTANT
AND NUTRIENTS
(C,P,N,O,Fe,S)
SINGLE
BACTERIUM

CO2 evolved

Organic matter

Fermented

Acetic Acid
+
H2 CO2

Methanogenesis

CH4 CO2 H2O

Biogas production

Waste water treatment


plants
Microorganisms

CHONP

CO2 + H2O

Aerobic
Anaerobic
Mixed processes
Multiple microbes

Oxidation Pond

CHONP

Organic acid

CO2 + H2S + NH3 + CH4

Drinking water testing


E. coli
Thresholds of various bacteria
Pseudomonas in hospitals

Solid waste treatments


Solid wastes could not only be

degraded by bacteria but we can


convert it to useful products like
biogas

Oil spills
Gulf oil and gas spill
Methane utilized by bacteria, about 200,000

tons
Oil also used by bacteria
But problem is anoxic zones in sea leading to

disturbed ecosystem

Nuclear waste
Deinococcus
Have pigments and absorption mechanisms
Other as well
The bacteria, calledGeobacter sulfurreducens,
transfer electrons via the pilus to the metals that
they feed off of. Transferring the electrons gives the
bacteria energy. It also changes the ionization state
of the metal, changing it to a form that precipitates
out of water. A colony ofGeobacterliving near a
pile of nuclear waste would extract the uranium,
making it easier to handle and remove.

Microorganisms can provide

useful solutions for dealing with


many environmental problems