Biotechnology Research Group 

The Biotechnology sub-project seeks answers to three scientific questions: (1) Are there any easily recognizable microbial phenotypes within the microbial community living in oil-contaminated soil that indicate the increased potential of carbohydrate biodegradation? We are going to test the hypothesis that mineral oils stimulate the cyanide-resistant alternative respiration and, conversely, the oil-degrading potential correlates with the capacity of the alternative respiratory pathway.  (2) Is it possible to increase the metabolic activity of microorganisms by nutrient supplementation in situ? We intend to test commercially available fertilizers as nutrient supplements. (3) Could transport of halogenic hydrocarbons into the cell be the bottleneck during biodegradation? Pseudomonas putida, a bacterium frequently employed in bioremediation techniques would be used to see how chlorinated hydrocarbons enter the cell.

 

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