Exploring the environmental traits and applications of Klebsiella variicola

Braz J Microbiol. 2021 Dec;52(4):2233-2245. doi: 10.1007/s42770-021-00630-z. Epub 2021 Oct 9.


Klebsiella variicola has been found in various natural niches, alone or in association with other bacteria, and causes diseases in animals and plants with important economic and environmental impacts. K. variicola has the capacity to fix nitrogen in the rhizosphere and soil; produces indole acetic acid, acetoin, and ammonia; and dissolves phosphorus and potassium, which play an important role in plant growth promotion and nutrition. Some members of K. variicola have properties such as halotolerance and alkalotolerance, conferring an evolutionary advantage. In the environmental protection, K. variicola can be used in the wastewater treatment, biodegradation, and bioremediation of polluted soil, either alone or in association with other organisms. In addition, it has the potential to carry out industrial processes in the food and pharmaceutical industries, like the production of maltose and glucose by the catalysis of debranching unmodified oligosaccharides by the pullulanase enzyme. Finally, this bacterium has the ability to transform chemical energy into electrical energy, such as a biocatalyst, which could be useful in the near future. These properties show that K. variicola should be considered an eco-friendly bacterium with hopeful technological promise. In this review, we explore the most significant aspects of K. variicola and highlight its potential applications in environmental and biotechnological processes.

Keywords: Bioremediation; Nitrogen fixation; Wastewater treatment.

Publication types

  • Review