What do we know about the influence of vacuum on bacterial biocenosis used in environmental biotechnologies?

The article aims to show the increased interest in the applications of vacuum in the area of environmental biotechnology and the lack of research related to the effects of vacuum on bacteria and microbial communities.

Information on the impact of vacuum on bacteria is limited and often comes from unrelated research fields. In most cases (astrobiology research, food preservation technologies), the exposure of microorganisms in vacuum is permanent for the whole life of a cell. In environmental science applications, the exposure of microorganisms containing media such as sludge or soil in vacuum is rather persistent, and lower values of vacuum are used.

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Vacuum is used or proposed to be used in wastewater treatment, anaerobic digestion, sludge treatment, soil remediation and mining. Usually, vacuum is used to remove gases from the test medium, so a purely physical process is applied. However, most reports show the influence of vacuum on biological processes and its efficiency, as well as on the community structure.