Navigation Links
Microorganisms in toxic groundwater fine-tuned to survive
Date:3/29/2010

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., March 29 2010 -- Microorganisms can indeed live in extreme environments, but the ones that do are highly adapted to survive and little else, according to a collaboration that includes Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Joint Genome Institute (JGI) and the University of Oklahoma.

The metagenomic study of a "stressed" microbial community in groundwater near a former waste disposal pond site on DOE's Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR) revealed microbes with an overabundance of genes involved in DNA recombination and repair and other defense mechanisms for dealing with contaminants and other environmental stresses.

The studies, said ORNL researcher David Watson, are ultimately aimed at developing biologically based methods for reducing the level of the contaminants in the groundwater, which at the ORR site includes nitrates, solvents and heavy metals, including uranium.

"We are looking to better understand the evolution of microbes in the groundwater plume," Watson said. "The microbes that can break down nitrate into nitrogen can have a long-term benefit toward attenuating the plume."

Watson added that researchers particularly want to better understand the genetic makeup of microbes that can metabolize oxidized forms of uranium into a form that is only slightly soluble and thus easier to precipitate and remove from the groundwater environment.

ORNL's Watson was joined in the study by the University of Oklahoma's Jizhong Zhou and Christopher Hemme; Joint Genome Institute Director Eddy Rubin; and a team that included researchers from ORNL's Environmental Sciences Division, the University of Oklahoma's Institute for Environmental Genomics, Montana State University, Michigan State University and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

They found that the naturally occurring populations of microbes in the polluted groundwater--which consisted of only a few cell types-- had "very simple" genetic structures tuned primarily to overcoming the stresses presented by the toxic soup, which has a highly acidic pH level of 3.5.

The accumulation of genes involved in resistance and responses to stress appears to be a basic survival strategy that has left the microbes with a marked loss in metabolic diversity.

The waste ponds, which are now part of the Oak Ridge Environmental Remediation Sciences Program Integrated Field Research Center, have been out of use for decades and were capped in 1983.


'/>"/>

Contact: Bill Cabage
cabagewh@ornl.gov
865-574-4399
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. K-State host to workshop on rapid methods to detect microorganisms in food
2. Scientists work to plug microorganisms into the energy grid
3. OU researchers isolate microorganisms that convert hydrocarbons to natural gas
4. Can microorganisms be a solution to the worlds energy problems?
5. Database shows effects of acid rain on microorganisms in Adirondack Lakes
6. New text highlights role of microorganisms in alternative energy development
7. Fecal microorganisms inhabit sandy beaches of Florida
8. Research team finds that microorganisms filter nitrogen from small streams
9. Leading toxicologists highlight advances to safeguard public health
10. Discovery of algaes toxic hunting habits could help curb fish kills
11. Toxicants detected in Asian monkey hair may warn of environmental threats to people and wildlife
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/16/2017)... May 16, 2017   Bridge Patient Portal ... and MD EMR Systems , an electronic ... for GE, have established a partnership to build ... and the GE Centricity™ products, including Centricity Practice ... These new integrations will allow healthcare ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... Inc., a global expert in SoC-based imaging and computing solutions, has ... features the company,s hybrid codec technology. A demonstration utilizing TeraFaces ® ... be showcased during the upcoming Medtec Japan at Tokyo Big Sight ... Las Vegas Convention Center April 24-27. ... Click here for an image of the ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... April 11, 2017 Crossmatch®, a globally-recognized ... solutions, today announced that it has been awarded ... Projects Activity (IARPA) to develop next-generation Presentation Attack ... "Innovation has been a driving force within ... will allow us to innovate and develop new ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:9/21/2017)... ... (PRWEB) September 21, 2017 , ... ... scientific and technical congress to review the latest knowledge on these products, which ... international speakers will discuss the impact of Biostimulants on Plant Nutrition, Abiotic Stresses, ...
(Date:9/21/2017)... ... September 21, 2017 , ... Today, BioPharma Institute, a leading ... addition of 5 new courses to its prospectus. These include the eagerly-awaited ... Part 11 on Electronic Records and Electronic Signatures (Part 11 of Title 21 ...
(Date:9/21/2017)... ... September 21, 2017 , ... ... the election of Paul Hermes, Entrepreneur in Residence at Medtronic, Inc., to serve ... developed a proprietary, tissue-engineered scaffold for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction that is ...
(Date:9/20/2017)... ... September 20, 2017 , ... Diversity focused business accelerator, The Refinery ... pitch competition to uncover the top technology-driven, women-led startups in Boston, MA, New Haven/Hamden, ... each city’s entrepreneurial events going on that week – in Boston, it will be ...
Breaking Biology Technology: