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Research Program

Bioremediation Thrust Group


STC Faculty -- C. Criddle, P. Adriaens, S. Boyd, M. Dybas, T. Marsh, J. Quensen, C. Lastoski, F. de Bruijn, R. Hickey, C.A. Reddy, T. Voice, J. Tiedje

Collaborators -- D. Long, D. Wiggert, D. Hyndman, B. Fathepure (Univ. of Michigan), R. Wallace, S. Haack (USGS), K. Smalla (BBLF, Braunschwieg), J. Zhou (ORNL), M. Fukuda (Nagaoka Univ., Japan), L. Forney (U. Groningen), EFX Systems, Golder Assoc., The Traverse Group

Postdocs -- F. Löffler, S. Flynn, T. Tsoi, O. Maltseva, J. Davis, S. Rech, H. DeWever, L. LaMontagne, C. Merlin, J. Urbance, F. Crocker

Research Associates -- R. Kurzhals

Graduate Students -- H. Ayala, B. Griffin, A. Hillers, D. Hogan, D. Kay, K. Linning, A. Rihana, J. Rodrigues, R. Saari, L. Sepulveda, K. Skubal, F. Gebhard, M. Riley, E. Moss, R. Santos

Undergraduate Students -- K. Breining, E. Victory, J. Schachuer

1999 Research Accomplishments:

Key questions addressed by the Bioremediation Thrust Group are: i) How can we best manage indigenous microbial populations and activities for remediation? ii) How can we monitor the activity of degradative populations within communities? iii) What are the best strategies for introducing organisms into a foreign environment to express novel genes for bioremediation? and iv) What is the untapped degradation potential of the microbial world? Progress on each of these questions is summarized with examples in the following sections. Over 95% of this work is funded by non-NSF grants, including 3-DoD, 3-DOE, 4-DEQ, 3-NIEHS, 1-EPA, 1-ONR, 1-SBIR (AF). Bioremediation studies conducted during 1999 include

1. Distribution of feast and famine strategies in soils

2. Community responses to pollutant stresses

3. Alkyl halide remediation via bioaugmentation with halorespiring bacteria

4. Full scale field testing of bioaugmentation and niche adjustment

5. Phylogenetic patterns among biodegraders and a strain database (BSD)
    (Visit the BSD Website)

Future Plans:

As this thrust group has already become virtually entirely funded outside core NSF funding, it has already been launched for a post-STC era. The total non-NSF funding for this thrust group is approximately double this year's total NSF STC funding to CME. As mentioned in the community analysis section, we will expand our community analysis work using bioremediation experimental systems to better understand community structure and dynamics behind the desired bioremediation. Furthermore, we intend to integrate DNA microarray technology into bioremediation studies and already have one grant from EPA to evaluate gene expression of a bioaugmented organism at our Schoolcraft field site.


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