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Current Opinion in Biotechnology
Vol. 33, 2015, Pages: 142 - 148

Bioremediation of pesticide-contaminated water resources: the challenge of low concentrations

Damian E Helbling

School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.


The use of pesticides in agricultural and urban environments has improved quality of life around the world. However, the resulting accumulation of pesticide residues in fresh water resources has negative effects on aquatic ecosystem and human health. Bioremediation has been proposed as an environmentally sound alternative for the remediation of pesticide-contaminated water resources, though full-scale implementation has thus far been limited. One major challenge that has impeded progress is the occurrence of pesticides at low concentrations. Recent research has improved our fundamental understanding of pesticide biodegradation processes occurring at low concentrations under a variety of environmental scenarios and is expected to contribute to the development of applied bioremediation strategies for pesticide-contaminated water resources.

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