Increased environmental contamination leads to a progressive decline in environmental quality. Probiotics play a role as remediation agents which are expected to be able to help the host in responding to environmental changes. Probiotics are live microbial feed supplements that favorably affect host (humans, animals, plants) by increasing the balance of intestinal microbes. Probiotics are used in livestock/aquaculture to improve growth performance through improved utilization of nutrients, reducing disease, also developing the immune system. In addition to feed supplements, certain types of probiotics act as bioremediation or decomposing agents of hazardous substances. The bioremediation system is the use of microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, yeast, and algae) or microbial products to degrade, reduce, or remove pollutants in the environment although in some cases plants are also utilized for this purpose called phytoremediation. When bioremediation occurs, enzymes produced by microorganisms modify toxic pollutants by changing the chemical structure of pollutants. This event is called biotransformation. In many cases, biotransformation leads to biodegradation, when toxic pollutants are degraded, the structure becomes simpler, and ultimately becomes harmless and non-toxic metabolites, that called mineralization.
Part of the book: Microorganisms