Novel Approaches for Bioremediation of Organic Pollution

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Pollution of the environment with organic compounds, mostly due to industrial ac- tivities, has become a major environmental issue. The situation is getting worse due to the continued release of large amounts of chemicals and the broadening of the spectrum of xenobiotics that to which the biosphere is exposed to. The field of biodegradation and bioremediation has experienced a dynamic and in- tense period of development during the last few years, encompassing all its different disci- plines: Isolation and characterization of new microorganisms with novel catabolic activities, understanding the specific enzymatic mechanisms underlying biodegradation, rational design of genetically engineered degrading microorganisms, and studying the in- teraction of the degrading organism with biotic and abiotic components within the envi- ronment to allow development of efficient bioremediation processes. nd This book, devoted to the proceedings of the 42 OHOLO Conference on Novel Approaches for Bioremediation of Organic Pollution which was held in Eilat, Israel, in May 1998, obviously does not cover the full range of bioremediation research. However, an attempt has been made to address the major issues in bioremediation of organic pollu- tion. The four sessions of the conference covered a wide spectrum of topics, from the lab research-characterization of enzymes and pathways, genetic design of degradative mi- croorganisms, to the field application issues-bioaccessibility, bioavailability, process de- velopment and field studies.