Microorganisms have developed several physiological adaptations to survive within extreme
ecological niches including environments contaminated with heavy metals, pesticides, polycyclic
aromatic hydrocarbons, and nuclear wastes. Microorganisms in extreme habitat are potential
source of “novel biomolecule(s)” such as whole microbial cells, extremozymes and extremolytes,
significantly required for environmental, industrial, and red medical/pharmaceutical biotechnology.
These novel biomolecule(s) are valuable resources and may help improve economic development.
The scanty information about the factors governing the microbial growth within stressed environments is the major constraint in the recovery of novel biomolecule(s) from extreme habitats.
Understanding the structure, metabolic capabilities, microbial physiology, and factors governing the
composition and role of indigenous microorganism is the key to success of any study. In recent
past the problems associated with classical cultivation techniques have been resolved by an
emerging approach referred to as “metagenomics”. Metagenomic studies give an insight into
details of the structure, metabolic and physiological capabilities of indigenous microbial
communities. High-throughput sequencing technologies in conjunction with metagenomics has
aided in the identification and characterization of novel culturable and uncultured microorganisms
with unique capabilities. Metagenomic studies have been used for isolation and characterization of
novel biomolecule(s) relevant for white, grey, and red biotechnologies. The major objective of this
review is to discuss the applications of metagenomic approach for bioprospection of novel
biomolecule(s) and environmental bioremediation.