An insight on microbial degradation of benzo[a]pyrene: current status and advances in research
Journal: 2022/February - World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology
Benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) is a high molecular weight polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon produced as a result of incomplete combustion of organic substances. Over the years, the release of BaP in the atmosphere has increased rapidly, risking human lives. BaP can form bonds with DNA leading to the formation of DNA adducts thereby causing cancer. Therefore addressing the problem of its removal from the environment is quite pertinent though it calls for a very cumbersome and tedious process owing to its recalcitrant nature. To resolve such issues many efforts have been made to develop physical and chemical technologies of BaP degradation which have neither been cost-effective nor eco-friendly. Microbial degradation of BaP, on the other hand, has gained much attention due to added advantage of the high level of microbial diversity enabling great potential to degrade the substance without impairing environmental sustainability. Microorganisms produce enzymes like oxygenases, hydrolases and cytochrome P450 that enable BaP degradation. However, microbial degradation of BaP is restricted due to several factors related to its bio-availability and soil properties. Technologies like bio-augmentation and bio-stimulation have served to enhance the degradation rate of BaP. Besides, advanced technologies such as omics and nano-technology have opened new doors for a better future of microbial degradation of BaP and related compounds.
Keywords: Benzo[a]pyrene; Degradation; Pathway; Polyaromatic hydrocarbons.
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