Encyclopedia of Metagenomics

2015 Edition
| Editors: Karen E. Nelson

Metagenomics Potential for Bioremediation

  • Terrence H. Bell
  • Charles W. Greer
  • Etienne YergeauEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4899-7478-5_123


Metagenomics of polluted substrates/environments


Bioremediation refers to the detoxification of environments through the activities of living organisms. In many environments, microorganisms are the main agents of bioremediation, as they adapt their existing biochemical pathways to the degradation or conversion of pollutants. Human intervention can often improve the ability of microorganisms to rapidly remediate contaminants, but how treatments affect species diversity and gene allocation in complex microbial communities is not well characterized. The metagenome of a contaminated environment includes all DNA contained within it; however, a variety of screening methods can be used in bioremediation studies to simplify the collection and analysis of targeted genomic information.


Pollution is a ubiquitous global concern, as many natural and synthetic compounds have been introduced into environments in which they are posing hazards to the health of humans...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Terrence H. Bell
    • 1
  • Charles W. Greer
    • 2
  • Etienne Yergeau
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Natural Resource SciencesMcGill UniversitySainte–Anne–de–BellevueCanada
  2. 2.National Research Council CanadaMontrealCanada