Bacterial Biofilms And Bioremediation

IJEP 41(5): 528-535 : Vol. 41 Issue. 5 (May 2021)

De-Hwa Khoo, Pooja Shivanand* and Hussein Taha

University Brunei Darussalam, Environmental and Life Sciences, Faculty of Science, Gadong BE1410,


In this review, the importance of biofilm formation in promoting greater survival, adaptation and propagation is explored. The focus will be given to the mechanisms of bacterial biofilm in the bioremediation of hydrocarbons, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), as bacteria is known to be one of the top degraders. Due to the increasing population utilizing petroleum and its products, the demand for petroleum increases. As a result, petroleum is slowly turning into the most widespread pollutants to the environment. Using biofilms as a tool may enhance the biodegradation processes as the communities developed structures for protection from harsh surrounding environments, quorum sensing (QS), horizontal gene transfer (HGT), availability of nutrients (from the environment and within the communities) and the persistence in metabolic rates to increase the cells’ stability and resilience. A major limitation to successful bioremediation is the bioavailability of contaminant to the degradative cells. However, this is not a problem for the biofilm communities as the development of strategy such as chemotaxis allows the movement of the cells towards the contaminants. This paper also discussed the use of biofilms for wastewater treatment, acid-mine drains (AMD) treatment and bioremediation of heavy metals.


Biofilm, Bioremediation, Biodegradation, Hydrocarbons, Bacterial survival


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