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The diverse metabolic capabilities of microorganisms and their inter actions with complex organic and inorganic substrates have long been and are now being exploited for the treatment of hazardous recognized soil contaminants. Microbial reactions range from single-step transfor mations of pollutants into more or less toxic forms (biodegradation) to complete mineralization, yielding water and either carbon dioxide or methane. Microbial processes are environmentally compatible, operate under mild conditions and can be integrated with non-biological processes with treatment goals including detoxification, destruction and immobilization of the contaminants. The application of biological methods, through bioremediation, has been used successfully for remediation of soils with a variety of pollutants. Biodegradation and Bioremediation, Volume 2 of the series Soil Biology, presents a selection of contributions related to microbiological and biochemical processes with an emphasis on their use in bioreme diation. Topics include bioavailability and biodegradation, anaerobic biodegradation of environmental pollutants, microbial community dynamics during bioremediation of hydrocarbons, biodegradation of halogenated compounds, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and nitrogen-containing xenobiotics. The roles of aromatic hydrocarbon dioxygenases and bacterial reductive dehalogenases and engineering of improved biocatalysts in bioremediation are discussed. Innovative methods for monitoring bioremediation processes and approaches for combined biological and abiological degradation of xenobiotic compounds are also included. Volume 1 of the series Soil Biology, Applied Bioremediation and Phytoremediation, included topics related to the applied aspects of bioremediation and phytoremediation technologies.