Env. Microbiology Project


Detoxification or mineralization of soil organic contaminants by microorganisms is now one of the more environmentally friendly options for remediation of contaminated soils and, at the same time, one of the more attractive and promising one from an economic point of view. Unlike other methods, such as incineration and physico-chemical soil treatments, where the contaminated soil is typically removed and treated in a processing plant and where the contaminants are not fully destroyed), biodegradation allows in situ mineralization (i.e., full degradation) of toxic molecules. In addition, this technique is particularly suitable for the treatment of large land areas as well as marine ecosystems polluted by Aliphatic Hydrocarbon, Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH) and Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB) contaminants, which are among the most recalcitrant and toxic organic pollutants.


Several studies have highlighted the potential degradation of pollutants by indigenous microbial communities isolated from contaminated sites. Despite the important ecological and economic services that microbial communities performe by the rehabilitating different polluted ecosystems, their function in this context is still poorly understood. This ignorance of the soil microorganisms and their various functions, is mainly due to technical challenge because only a small proportion of soil microorganisms can be cultivated using conventional microbiology methods.


The study of indigenous microbial strains effective in the degradation of various recalcitrant organic pollutants requires, in addition to molecular characterization approaches, the development of new isolation strategies and methods based on the optimization of culture media (including simulation of growth conditions in the original polluted environments: carbon sources, aerobic and anaerobic conditions, final acceptor of electrons, incubation time, etc.).


People that were involved in this project are:

  • Dr. Ivan De la Providencia, research coordinator.

  • Mengxuan Kong, PhD student.

  • Fahad Al Otaibi, PhD student.

  • Guillaume Bourdel, MSc student.

  • Bachir Iffis, PhD student.

  • Charlotte Marchand, PhD student.

  • Manuel Labridy, MSc student.

  • Gabriela Rodriguez, undergraduate student.

  • David Denis, technical assistant.

  • Katrina Dingle, undergraduate student.

This project is funded by:


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