Assessment of hazard and risk in regulating discharges of pollutants into the environment and monitoring the effects of such discharges has created commercial opportunities for sophisticated assay systems capable of rapidly, inexpensively and accurately providing the required ecotoxicological information. The high biodiversity of bacteria and their importance in the function of natural ecosystems make them ideal target organisms for such assay systems. The objective of the project is to develop novel, user-friendly microbial assay systems for the detection, monitoring and experimental risk evaluation of pollutants being released into the environment. The system will be based on the use of an array of single micro-organisms belonging to a diverse range of genera and species. The final objective of this approach is to establish a multiple-species based in vitro test system for measuring of ecotoxicity. The research work will involve: - Development of arrays of microbial strains (isolated from aquatic environments, or collected from international collections) with defined responses towards known ecotoxic compounds. - Development or adaptation of suitable detection methods of microbial metabolic responses towards toxic compounds. - Comparisons to existing systems for evaluating ecotoxicity. The project will last for two years and involve SME's whose main activities are exploiting microbial reagents and environmental protection.
Funding SchemeEAW - Exploratory awards