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Units : Marine Biology | ULB119
Despite their importance for environmental and human health risks (secondary pollution processes), the interactions between Benthic Microbial Communities in Sediments (BMCS) and anthropic contaminants (Cd, Cu, Pb, Zn, PCBs, etc.) are poorly known in the marine environment. Research on this topic are carried out in the Marine Biology Laboratory. New methods of molecular microbiology are used routinely in the laboratory. These methods include DGGE (Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis), cloning-sequencing of 16S ribosomal RNA, and in situ hybridization (FISH, Fluorescent In Situ Hybridization). The extreme contamination of a Norwegian fjord (the Sorfjord, contaminated for more than 80 years by heavy metals) has been studied recently using these techniques. It was shown that biodiversity and biomass of the BMCS were identical in pristine and polluted areas. BMCS are thus able to adapt to high levels of metals. The effects of individual metals (for example copper) on BMCS are also studied using microcosms (Gillan 2004).
• F.R.S.-FNRS et Fonds associés (hors FRIA)