Bacterial Abiotic Cellular Stress and Survival Improvement Network

    Project: EU research project

    Project Details


    BACSIN is a 16-member consortium with the main focus to improve rational exploitation of the catalytic properties of bacteria for the treatment and prevention of environmental pollution. Current application of bacteria in the environment is hindered by the lack of knowledge on the effects of stresses on cellular activity, most importantly abiotic stresses prevailing on site (e.g., desiccation or nutrient starvation), stresses as a result of pollution itself (e.g., toxicity), and those during strain preparation and formulation. BACSIN proposes four iterative poles of research and technology to overcome this hindrance for subsequent improved microbial usage. The 1st pole will investigate genome-wide catabolic and stress expression in a set of different pollutant degrading bacteria (the ‘BACSINs’). Key cellular factors and regulatory networks determining the interplay between stress-survival and pollutant catabolism will be unveiled, and faithful predictive models for cell behaviour produced. The 2nd pole will study stress resistance, survival and activity of BACSINs in real polluted environments, via microcosms and in situ ‘traps’, plant roots and leaves, while accentuating possible effects on native communities. The 3d pole will focus on the original microbial communities at contaminated sites, to discover and exploit more optimal stress and survival resistance among resident pollutant-degrading bacteria. We will develop molecular diagnostics tools to screen contaminated sites for catabolic and stress parameters, and decide whether BACSIN complementation should be considered. Promising isolates of resident bacteria will be studied as new BACSINs, to show the usefulness of the ‘diagnosis-isolation-reintroduction’ approach for enhancing pollutant biodegradation rates. Finally, we will focus on BACSIN formulations, to understand the stresses on bacteria during growth, preservation and resuscitation, and to produce optimally active cells for environmental application.
    Effective start/end date1/06/0831/05/12