Ecological Constraints on Genetic Engineering

  • Martin Alexander
Part of the Basic Life Sciences book series (BLSC, volume 28)


The aim of this paper is to present, briefly to be sure, the views of a microbial ecologist with a strong practical bent. These views, I believe, have relevance to genetic engineering to control environmental pollutants. I shall point out several ways by which the chances of success can be increased and some of the problems that may be encountered.


Influenza Virus Lake Water Genetic Engineering Genetic Engineer Alcohol Ethoxylates 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Alexander, M. (1981) Why microbial predators and parasites do not eliminate their prey and hosts. Annu. Rev. Microbiol. 35:113–133.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Larson, R.J. (1980) Role of biodegradation kinetics in predicting environmental fate. In Biotransformation and Fate of Chemicals in the Aquatic Environment, A.W. Maki, K.L. Dickson, and J. Cairns Jr., eds. American Society for Microbiology, Washington, pp. 67–86.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Larson, R.J., and L.M. Games (1981) Biodegradation of linear alcohol ethoxylates in natural waters. Environ. Sci. Technol. 15:1488–1493.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Mallory, L.M., C.-S. Yuk, L.-N. Liang, and M. Alexander Appl. Environ. Microbiol, (in press).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Moyer, J.R., R.J. Hance, and C.E. McKone (1972) The effect of adsorbents on the rate of degradation of herbicides incubated with soil. Soil Biol. Biochem. 4:307–311.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Paris, D.F., W.C. Steen, G.L. Baughman, and J.T. Barnett Jr. (1981) Second-order model to predict microbial degradation of organic compounds in natural waters. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 41:603–609.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Poindexter, J.S. (1981) Oligotrophy: Fast and famine existence . Adv. Microb. Ecol. 5:63–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Rubin, H.E., R.V. Subba-Rao, and M. Alexander (1982) Rates of mineralization of trace concentrations of aromatic compounds in lake water and sewage samples. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 43:1133–1138.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Sinclair, J.L., and M. Alexander (manuscript in preparation).Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Stout, J.D. (1980) The role of protozoa in nutrient cycling and energy flow. Adv. Microb. Ecol. 4:1–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Subba-Rao, R.V., and M. Alexander (1982) Effect of sorption on mineralization of low concentrations of aromatic compounds in lake water. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 44:659–668.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Subba-Rao, R.V., H.E. Rubin, and M. Alexander (1982) Kinetics and extent of mineralization of organic compounds at trace levels in freshwater and sewage. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 43:1139–1150.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Wiggins, B.A., and M. Alexander (manuscript in preparation).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Alexander
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Soil Microbiology, Department of AgronomyCornell UniversityIthacaUSA

Personalised recommendations