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Environmental Research
Volume 227, 2023, 115665

Bioengineered microbial strains for detoxification of toxic environmental pollutants

Quratulain Maqsood, Aleena Sumrin, Rafia Waseem, Maria Hussain, Mehwish Imtiaz, Nazim Hussain

Center for Applied Molecular Biology, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan.


Industrialization and other anthropogenic human activities pose significant environmental risks. As a result of the hazardous pollution, numerous living organisms may suffer from undesirable diseases in their separate habitats. Bioremediation, which removes hazardous compounds from the environment using microbes or their biologically active metabolites, is one of the most successful remediation approaches. According to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), deteriorating soil health negatively impacts food security and human health over time. Soil health restoration is critical right now. Microbes are widely known for their importance in cleaning up toxins present in the soil, such as heavy metals, pesticides, and hydrocarbons. However, the capacity of local bacteria to digest these pollutants is limited, and the process takes an extended time. Genetically modified organisms (GMOs), whose altered metabolic pathways promote the over-secretion of a variety of proteins favorable to the bioremediation process, can speed up the breakdown process. The need for remediation procedures, degrees of soil contamination, site circumstances, broad adoptions, and numerous possibilities occurring at various cleaning stages are all studied in detail. Massive efforts to restore contaminated soils have also resulted in severe issues. This review focuses on the enzymatic removal of hazardous pollutants from the environment, such as pesticides, heavy metals, dyes, and plastics. There are also in-depth assessments of present discoveries and future plans for efficient enzymatic degradation of hazardous pollutants.

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