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Volume 2018, Article ID 3194108, 17 pages
Review Article

Diversity and Niche of Archaea in Bioremediation

School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering, Architecture, and Technology, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Mark James Krzmarzick; ude.etatsko@kcizramzrk.kram

Received 5 May 2018; Accepted 1 August 2018; Published 3 September 2018

Academic Editor: Yu Tao

Copyright © 2018 Mark James Krzmarzick et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Bioremediation is the use of microorganisms for the degradation or removal of contaminants. Most bioremediation research has focused on processes performed by the domain Bacteria; however, Archaea are known to play important roles in many situations. In extreme conditions, such as halophilic or acidophilic environments, Archaea are well suited for bioremediation. In other conditions, Archaea collaboratively work alongside Bacteria during biodegradation. In this review, the various roles that Archaea have in bioremediation is covered, including halophilic hydrocarbon degradation, acidophilic hydrocarbon degradation, hydrocarbon degradation in nonextreme environments such as soils and oceans, metal remediation, acid mine drainage, and dehalogenation. Research needs are addressed in these areas. Beyond bioremediation, these processes are important for wastewater treatment (particularly industrial wastewater treatment) and help in the understanding of the natural microbial ecology of several Archaea genera.