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Marine microbial ecology : impact of metallic and organic contaminants on microbial communities in marine sediments (microbial, molecular, biochemical and mineralogical analyses, in pristine and polluted environments).

Units : Marine Biology | ULB119

Description :

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).

List of lessors :

  • F.R.S.-FNRS et Fonds associés (hors FRIA)