Organohalides occur in our environment as a result of natural processes, but are a major cause of soil and groundwater pollution as a result of the increase in anthropogenic activities.
Over the past decade, anaerobic microorganisms have been increasingly studied for their ability to respire with and dehalogenate organohalides. This natural chemical process helps to clean up contaminated environments and is a potential remedy to this global issue.
Due to the gravitation of experts into this field, the German Research Foundation began funding exploration into dehalogenation in 2014 and in 2017, DehaloCon II – the 2nd International Conference on Anaerobic Biological Dehalogenation – was held in Leipzig, Germany.
Following on from this meeting and to showcase the current developments in this important field, we are delighted to announce a new Anaerobic Biological Dehalogenation Thematic Issue from FEMS Microbiology Ecology. This Thematic Issue is guest edited by Christof Holliger and Ivonne Nijenhuis who are both active researchers in the field.
Knowledge on anaerobic microbial dehalogenation has advanced significantly since its first discovery. Understanding of the biochemistry, physiology, and ecology of organohalide respiring microorganisms (OHRB) has allowed development of bioremediation technologies for clean-up of contaminated sites… This special thematic issue shows nicely that there remains still a lot to be discovered regarding anaerobic biological dehalogenation.
Christof Holliger and Ivonne Nijenhuis, Guest Editors
We hope that you find this collection of articles an inspiring read for the future of microbiology in tackling a growing global environmental challenge.