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Innovative approaches to understand complex microbial communities for eco-engineering the degradation of herbicides in stressed agricultural soils

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Software tools to support herbicide removal from soils

The Centro Nacional de Biotecnología in Spain developed a powerful database application for organisations using biological methods to clean contaminated soils.

Digital Economy

The INCO project ACCESS established scientific cooperation between several European and South American research institutes in field of bioremediation of herbicides. Bioremediation exploits the ability of micro-organisms to degrade toxic chemical compounds like atrazine in the soil environment. Detailed knowledge of biological, chemical and soil parameters is necessary in order to be successful. In the framework of ACCESS, the Centro Nacional de Biotecnología (CNB) of the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas created a software tool to facilitate this process. The heart of the application, entitled MetaRouter, is a relational database. It has been populated with data from ACCESS as well as previous research projects and new data can easily be incorporated from both internal and external databases. The types of data addressed include: organisms, chemical compounds, enzymes, reactions, genetics, etc. MetaRouter users can compose queries to mine the database for information suitable to their particular situation, for instance known biodegradation pathways for specific herbicides. The application runs in a user-friendly web environment. In addition, flexibility has been built in that allows MetaRouter to interact with and exchange data with other software applications. CNB and its ACCESS partners believe MetaRouter will be a very useful tool for the scientific community involved in bioremediation projects.

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