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Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Sustainability and Applications".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 July 2024 | Viewed by 3518

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
RPTU Kaiserslautern-Landau, Mechanical and Process Engineering, Bioprocess Engineering, 67663 Kaiserslautern, Germany
Interests: sustainability; phototrophic biofilms; biofertilizer; cyanobacteria; co-cultivation; MICP; bio-sandstone
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Guest Editor
RPTU Kaiserslautern-Landau, Mechanical and process engineering, Bioprocess Engineering, 67663 Kaiserslautern, Germany
Interests: cable bacteria; electrobiotechnology; sustainability; synthetic sediments; electrochemical bioprocess engineering; phototrophic micro-organisms

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In 2015, the global community adopted a roadmap for the future (Agenda 30), in which 17 global goals for sustainable development were formulated. The 17 "Sustainable Development Goals" (SGD) cover various fields of action, such as securing the world's food supply (SDG 2), guaranteed high-quality education worldwide (SDG 4), sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11), sustainable production and consumption (SDG 12), and implementing climate protection worldwide (SDG 13). Holistic biotechnological processes, new production organisms, innovative sustainable processes, or genetic modification of micro-organisms for more sustainable production of biotechnological valuables can be part of the solution. Innovative and, above all, new processes must be brought to the general public's attention if they are accepted by society. For this reason, transferring new scientific knowledge to society is extremely important. In this context, the new research results must be prepared by experts in a generally understandable way.

This Special Issue aims to provide a forum for experts, professionals, and readers interested in the sustainable production of biotechnological valuables and their purification.  For this Special Issue, we welcome research papers and reviews for the following topics:

  • CO2 sequestration and bioconversion;
  • New sustainable production organisms;
  • New sustainable process technologies, e.g., electro-fermentation, phototrophic processes;
  • Sustainable production of platform chemicals;
  • Co-cultivation to increase the efficiency of agricultural products;
  • Sustainable downstream processing;
  • Sustainable production of building materials;
  • Bioremediation;
  • Restoration of barren land;
  • Influence of pollutants on the environment;
  • Renewable raw materials for the production of biotechnological interesting products;
  • Science communication.

We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Dr. Dorina Strieth
Dr. Judith Stiefelmaier
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • sustainability
  • CO2 sequestration
  • bioconversion
  • bioremediation
  • downstream processing
  • electro-fermentation
  • phototrophic micro-organisms
  • renewable raw materials
  • science communication

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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19 pages, 5413 KiB  
Article
Enhanced Scenedesmus obliquus Cultivation in Plastic-Type Flat Panel Photobioreactor for Biodiesel Production
by Amira Abdel-Baset, Ibrahim A. Matter and Mohamed A. Ali
Sustainability 2024, 16(8), 3148; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16083148 - 10 Apr 2024
Viewed by 741
Abstract
A plastic-type flat panel photobioreactor (PTFPP) prototype was designed for microalgae cultivation as biodiesel feedstock. The growth, biomass, and lipid production of the oleaginous microalga Scenedesmus obliquus were optimized through the enhanced design and cultivation conditions in the PTFPP. The optimization conditions include [...] Read more.
A plastic-type flat panel photobioreactor (PTFPP) prototype was designed for microalgae cultivation as biodiesel feedstock. The growth, biomass, and lipid production of the oleaginous microalga Scenedesmus obliquus were optimized through the enhanced design and cultivation conditions in the PTFPP. The optimization conditions include cultivation of the microalga in a flat panel photobioreactor manufactured from a 10 µm-thick plastic sheet with dimensions of 40 cm in width and 60 cm in height. The width of the designed plastic bags was adjusted by “4 ports” of circular adhesion points which make the volumetric cultural capacity 5 L. Cultivation of the microalga was optimized through the replacement of the sodium nitrate of the BBM medium with urea as a nitrogen source. Cultivation bags were subjected to continuous illumination with 3000 lux white, fluorescent lamps and aerated with 1.5 L air/min (equal to 0.3 VVM). Biomass production from the designed PTFPP reached 3 g/L with around 40% lipid content (on a dry weight basis). Based on a GC-MS analysis of the produced fatty acid methyl ester (biodiesel) from S. obliquus, the percentage of C16 and C18 fatty acids reached more than 90% of the defined fatty acids. Out of this percentage, 66.6% were unsaturated fatty acids. The produced fatty acid profile of the S. obliquus biomass cultivated in the designed PTFPP prototype could be considered a suitable feedstock for biodiesel production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology)
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14 pages, 1198 KiB  
Article
Microbial Interactions as a Sustainable Tool for Enhancing PGPR Antagonism against Phytopathogenic Fungi
by Ana M. Santos, Ana Soares, João Luz, Carlos Cordeiro, Marta Sousa Silva, Teresa Dias, Juliana Melo, Cristina Cruz and Luís Carvalho
Sustainability 2024, 16(5), 2006; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16052006 - 29 Feb 2024
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Abstract
Microbial interactions, which regulate the dynamics of eco- and agrosystems, can be harnessed to enhance antagonism against phytopathogenic fungi in agriculture. This study tests the hypothesis that plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) can also be potential biological control agents (BCAs). Antifungal activity assays against [...] Read more.
Microbial interactions, which regulate the dynamics of eco- and agrosystems, can be harnessed to enhance antagonism against phytopathogenic fungi in agriculture. This study tests the hypothesis that plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) can also be potential biological control agents (BCAs). Antifungal activity assays against potentially phytopathogenic fungi were caried out using cultures and cell-free filtrates of nine PGPR strains previously isolated from agricultural soils. Cultures of Bacillus sp. BS36 inhibited the growth of Alternaria sp. AF12 and Fusarium sp. AF68 by 74 and 65%, respectively. Cell-free filtrates of the same strain also inhibited the growth of both fungi by 54 and 14%, respectively. Furthermore, the co-cultivation of Bacillus sp. BS36 with Pseudomonas sp. BS95 and the target fungi improved their antifungal activity. A subsequent metabolomic analysis using Fourier-transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FTICR-MS) identified fengycin- and surfactin-like lipopeptides (LPs) in the Bacillus sp. BS36 cell-free filtrates, which could explain their antifungal activity. The co-production of multiple families of LPs by Bacillus sp. BS36 is an interesting feature with potential practical applications. These results highlight the potential of the PGPR strain Bacillus sp. BS36 to work as a BCA and the need for more integrative approaches to develop biocontrol tools more accessible and adoptable by farmers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology)
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15 pages, 3762 KiB  
Article
Long-Term Heavy Metal Pollution Induces Complex Differences in Farmland Topsoil and Rhizosphere Microbial Communities
by Jing Guo, Weili Dou, Zhiwen Liu, Jiaxuan Sun, Duanping Xu, Qili Yang, Gang Lv and Dongli Wang
Sustainability 2023, 15(24), 16598; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152416598 - 6 Dec 2023
Viewed by 718
Abstract
The microbial effect of long-term heavy metal pollution on farmland remains unclear. Here, we investigated microbial (bacterial and fungal) communities in topsoil and rhizosphere samples with heavy metal (Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn) pollution from four different types of tillage plots around an [...] Read more.
The microbial effect of long-term heavy metal pollution on farmland remains unclear. Here, we investigated microbial (bacterial and fungal) communities in topsoil and rhizosphere samples with heavy metal (Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn) pollution from four different types of tillage plots around an abandoned zinc smelter set up 85 years ago and analyzed the complex relationship between microorganisms, plants, and heavy metals (HMs) in soil to guide strategies for further soil remediation measures. The abundance and diversity index results showed that the bacterial and fungal diversities of the four plots were significantly different. Meanwhile, correlation analysis of the microbial communities and HMs showed that bacteria Pseudomonas and fungi Chaetothyriales and Fusarium had a good tolerance for HM pollution, but bacteria Vicinamibacteraceae, JG30_KF_CM45, RB41, Gaiella, MB-A2-108, 67-14, and Microvirga, and fungi Glomerellales, Hypocreales, Chaetomium, and Mortierella all showed indications of being sensitive to HM toxicity. Our structural equation model (SEM) attributed the inhibition of Zn and the promotion of Cd to bacterial diversity, attributed a weak inhibition of Cd to fungal diversity, and revealed the effects of the tillage type on these diversities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology)
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Review

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14 pages, 1530 KiB  
Review
Research Progress on the Configurations and Performance of Reducing Pollution and Carbon Emissions by Bacterial–Algal Reactor
by Yunxia Lu, Hao An, Chao Li, Xinming Wu and Kang Liu
Sustainability 2024, 16(5), 1994; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16051994 - 28 Feb 2024
Viewed by 808
Abstract
Currently, the water ecological environment is severely polluted and traditional bioreactors have issues with high energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. However, a promising solution is the bacterial–algal reactor, which is a green bioreactor that can simultaneously treat sewage and fix CO2 [...] Read more.
Currently, the water ecological environment is severely polluted and traditional bioreactors have issues with high energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. However, a promising solution is the bacterial–algal reactor, which is a green bioreactor that can simultaneously treat sewage and fix CO2. The main configurations of bacterial–algal reactors, including several types, activated sludge, biofilm, batch biofilm–sludge reactor coupled with activated sludge method, and bacterial–algal open reactor, have been reviewed. The performance of these reactors in reducing pollutants and carbon emissions during wastewater treatment has been investigated. Additionally, the technical advantages of coupling a bacterial–algal symbiosis system with a conventional bioreactor have been analyzed. The interaction mechanism of the bacterial–algal system in various reactors has also been elaborated. The bacterial–algal reactor improves pollutant removal efficiency through assimilation and absorption of pollutants by microalgae, and reduces aeration by releasing oxygen through photosynthesis of microalgae. Finally, the existing problems in the practical application of bacterial–algal reactors have been summarized, and future research directions have been suggested, providing theoretical support for the future application of bacterial–algal reactors and directions for optimal design and development of bacterial–algal symbiotic reactors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology)
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