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Institute for Bioengineering and Biosciences
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Formulation and Storage of a Bacterial Bioremediation Tool for Terbuthylazine Contaminated Soils

Formulation and Storage of a Bacterial Bioremediation Tool for Terbuthylazine Contaminated Soils | iBB | Scoop.it

Ecological risks associated with the chlorinated s-triazine herbicide terbuthylazine (TBA) due to accidental spills and deficient storage or disposal can be of concern. Following previous development of a bioremediation tool comprising freshly grown cells of Arthrobacter aurescens strain TC1, which proved successful in the cleanup of TBA-contaminated soil and with potential to prevent TBA dispersal into aquatic environments, researchers led by Cristina A. Viegas from BSRG-iBB in collaboration with the Centre for Functional Ecology of Universidade de Coimbra further examined the feasibility of preparing and formulating the bioaugmentation bacterial cells whilst preserving adequate survival and TBA-biodegrading activity during storage and transport to contaminated sites. The work was published in Science of the Total Environment.

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Assessment of Ecotoxicological Potential of Cement-based Construction Materials

Assessment of Ecotoxicological  Potential of Cement-based Construction Materials | iBB | Scoop.it

Innovation in construction materials (CM) implies changing their composition by incorporating raw materials (RM), usually non-traditional ones (e.g., processed or recycled RM), to confer particular characteristics. However, potential environmental risks associated with changing the conventional composition of CM are not completely known and need to be evaluated. Researchers from iBB-BSRG and CERIS - Civil Engineering Research and Innovation for Sustainability, at IST, proposed and applied a methodology for the assessment of the potential ecotoxicity associated with RM and cement-based CM considering a conservative scenario representative of the end of the materials life cycle. The work was published in the journal Materials.

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Alachlor Toxicity and Iron Homeostasis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Alachlor Toxicity and Iron Homeostasis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae | iBB | Scoop.it
Alachlor has been widely used as an herbicide worldwide. Concerns regarding current and legacy ecological risks, particularly in worst-case situations associated with accidental herbicide contamination, have been raised. In the EU, alachlor is in the list of priority substances in the field of water policy. A joint publication from Cristina A. Viegas and Fátima N. Gil (former PhD student) of BSRG-iBB and Gemma Bellí from the University of Lleida, Spain, in the journal Environmental Microbiology, contributes new information to better understand the potential deleterious short-term effects of alachlor in the S. cerevisiae eukaryotic model. Results point to possible links between alachlor toxicity and perturbations in metal and antioxidant homeostases, which may be relevant for environmental microbes and higher eukaryotes in situations of inadvertent high herbicide contamination. Click on title to learn more. 
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Suitability of a Yeast-based Assay to Assess Pyrimethanil Toxicity in Surface Runoff from Sprayed Soils

Suitability of a Yeast-based Assay to Assess Pyrimethanil Toxicity in Surface Runoff from Sprayed Soils | iBB | Scoop.it

A joint publication from BSRG-iBB and IMAR & MARE – University of Coimbra in the journal Science of the Total Environment describes evaluation of the suitability of a short-term yeast-based gene expression assay to assess the toxicity of pyrimethanil in runoff samples simulated from soils sprayed with fungicide accidental spill doses. Comparison of toxicity data to the yeast and to aquatic and soil standard species pointed the yeast assay relevant for screening worst-cases of fungicide contamination. This work was performed in the context of Fátima Gil’s PhD in Biotechnology (finished july 2014; supervisors: Cristina A Viegas, Jorge H Leitão).

 

Photo sources: en.wikipedia.org, www.zmescience.com, www.marietta.edu, enfo.agt.bme.hu, www.infojardin.com

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"The Admirable World of Microbes": A Training Course for Secondary School Teachers

"The Admirable World of Microbes": A Training Course for Secondary School Teachers | iBB | Scoop.it

A training course for secondary school teachers entiled "The admirable world of Microbes: small in size, great in action" was carried out at Instituto Superior Técnico (IST) on the 17 and 22 september within the frame of the commemorations of the International Microorganism Day 2018. The course was accredited by the Training Center of the Ordem dos Biólogos (OB) and aimed at updating and reinforcing theoretical knowledge and practical skills in the area of Microbiology and Biotechnology. The 12-hour training included theoretical (4 hours), computational (2 hours) and laboratory (4 hours) modules as well as a roundtable discussion (2 hours). The course was organized and taught by Arsénio Fialho, Cristina Viegas and Leonilde Moreira from the Bioengineering Department of IST and BSRG-iBB. It was attended by 22 teachers from schools all over the country. The initiative was supported by the Portuguese Society of Microbiology (SPM), OB and IST.

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Comparative Transcriptomic Analysis of Pesticide Action in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Comparative Transcriptomic Analysis of Pesticide Action in Saccharomyces cerevisiae | iBB | Scoop.it

Accidental spills or careless storage and disposal of pesticides may lead to environmental contamination posing possible risks for non-target microbes and higher eukaryotes in ecosystems. In a recent publication in the journal Ecotoxicology, iBB-BSRG researchers led by Cristina A. Viegas, in collaboration with Jörg D. Becker from IGC, reported a comparative transcriptomic analysis of the responses to sub-lethal levels of six environmentally relevant pesticides in the Saccharomyces cerevisiae model species. A number of predictions of biological pathways and mechanisms emerged from this study in yeast, which are relevant to better understand the potential mode of action and adverse side-effects of these pesticides in biological systems.

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Bioremediation of Terbuthylazine-Contaminated Soils

Bioremediation of Terbuthylazine-Contaminated Soils | iBB | Scoop.it

The chloro-s-triazine herbicide terbuthylazine has been increasingly used in the EU, after ban of atrazine in 2008. Even though good agricultural and disposal practices are anticipated to ensure no terbuthylazine risk for environment or human health, in recent years concerns over risks for aquatic ecosystems have been raised. In a recent publication in PLoS ONE, BSRG-iBB researchers in collaboration with collaborators from the Centre for Functional Ecology of University of Coimbra developed a bioaugmentation tool based on the soil bacterium Arthrobacter aurescens strain TC1 for the remediation of terbuthylazine contaminated soil and examined its efficacy in bench-scale soil microcosms. Overall, results prove the usefulness of the bioaugmentation tool to provide rapid soil decontamination while simultaneously minimizing the spread of terbuthylazine-associated ecotoxicity to aquatic ecosystems in a scenario of accidental high herbicide contamination. Click on title to learn more.

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Insights Into Pyrimethanil Mode of Action From Transcriptional Profiling in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Insights Into Pyrimethanil Mode of Action From Transcriptional Profiling in Saccharomyces cerevisiae | iBB | Scoop.it

Pyrimethanil is an anilinopyrimidine fungicide mostly applied in vineyards. When good agricultural practices (e.g. recommended doses or safety periods) are not followed, residue levels detected in grape must or in the environment may be of concern. In a paper published jointly with Jörg Becker from IGC in The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, BSRG researchers led by Cristina Viegas describe a transcriptomic study to identify molecular indicators of pyrimethanil toxicity and response in the eukaryotic model S. cerevisiae, while providing new mechanistic insights with possible relevance in wine yeasts, phytopathogenic fungi and/or non-target biota in ecosystems.

 

Photo: Crimson grapes, Bob. Nichols, USDA 2013, Public domain. 

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Crimson_seedless_grapes_on_the_vine.jpg?uselang=pt.

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