Outlook—The Next Frontiers for Research on Organohalide-Respiring Bacteria

  • Lorenz AdrianEmail author
  • Frank E. LöfflerEmail author


Research efforts over the last two decades have substantially advanced the understanding of organohalide-respiring bacteria (OHRB), and this progress has enabled successful bioremediation applications at chlorinated solvent-contaminated sites. Yet, major knowledge gaps remain, and detailed biochemical, genetic, regulatory, evolutionary, taxonomic, and ecological questions should be explored to reveal the underlying principles of organohalide respiration, to better define the roles of OHRB in natural microbial communities, and to fully exploit their activities for contaminated site cleanup. The chapters in this book summarize the various advances that have been achieved following the discovery, physiological description, and practical application of OHRB. But where will the field go next? Which major topics will be targeted in the coming decade? What are the major unresolved questions? What new discoveries will be made overcoming insufficient concepts and leading to new questions and hypotheses? What new techniques will drive research in the near- and midterm future? Will scientists be able to convince funding agencies to invest in this field to enable further transformative discoveries? Will environmental scientists and engineers be successful in demonstrating that the current achievements are just the beginning, and that support for developing precision bioremediation treatment can substantially improve the current practice and realize considerable benefits to society, including safe drinking water, a cleaner environment and financial benefits to the taxpayer? We expect major progress in the biological understanding as well as more sophisticated engineering applications of organohalide respiration in the coming years.


Vinyl Chloride Reductive Dechlorination Chlorinate Ethene Reductive Dehalogenase Organohalide Respiration 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department Isotope BiogeochemistryHelmholtz Centre for Environmental Research—UFZLeipzigGermany
  2. 2.Biosciences DivisionOak Ridge National LaboratoryOak RidgeUSA
  3. 3.Joint Institute for Biological Sciences (JIBS)University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (UT-ORNL)Oak RidgeUSA
  4. 4.Center for Environmental Biotechnology, Department of Microbiology, Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringUniversity of TennesseeKnoxvilleUSA

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