Environmental Microbiology: A Major Area of Biology
Introduction (what it is)
Microbiology is a branch of knowledge in the large area called biology. Practitioners investigating microbiology-related topics seek to understand the vital processes of organisms invisible to the naked eye. These organisms may be:
- Unicellular algae
- Yeast type fungi.
Environmental microbiology is an area within microbiology focused on the study of microorganisms in the environment. Researchers want to know how these beings work and how they interact with the physical and chemical conditions around them.
About this area of study, we can say:
- It's an area of science. Therefore, to become a researcher in environmental microbiology, one must enjoy research.
- It has two objectives, which are: to maintain the quality of the environment and to promote the sustainable development of human societies.
- It is associated with many current issues, many of them technological challenges for some countries.
Importance and applications of environmental microbiology
Water or soil in a particular location may be contaminated. To perform decontamination, microorganisms that bioremediate this liquid or solid matrix can be used.
Microorganisms produce enzymes that potentiate chemical reactions. Technically they are called biocatalysts. Understanding how these natural products operate requires the development of molecular biology techniques. The application of biocatalysts that have been isolated so far has many limitations. At the same time, if these barriers are overcome, biocatalysts will be of great use to industry.
Agricultural pests can be fought without using so much poison. Many species of viruses and bacteria can make the population of caterpillars, bedbugs and beetles shrink greatly. Species with these abilities are known as biopesticides. For their use to happen, researchers need to develop and test methods of cultivation and application of these microorganisms.
Environmental microbiology also applies to maintaining human health. After all, our body is the environment of hundreds of species of “good microorganisms”. The food industry has been able to exploit the desire for a healthy body and a long life. Have seen the huge variety of foods containing bioprotectants (beneficial bacteria).