Where will BIOSYSMO be applied?

Application 1: Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria -assisted water phytoremediation

Phytoremediation will be performed in microcosms floating systems. The hydroponic media will be first spiked with polluted water and, then, will be inoculated with bacteria on roots or carriers to monitor different remediation effects on plant and water parameters (pH, turbidity, root, rhizome, and leaves, metal content in plant tissues, etc.). In addition, the combination of phytoremediation hydroponic systems with electrodes inoculated with electroactive aggregates or biofilms will be tested to develop a hybrid bioelectrochemical system (BES).

Application 2: Combined poplar-microbe biosystems for soils phytoremediation.

Hybrid poplar lines, which are modified with epigenetic or systemic defense responses, will be used to integrate new traits from microorganisms and metal accumulating plants enhancing capabilities, for endophyte root colonisation and resistance to organic pollutants. The poplar cell lines will be tested for their tolerance to both metal and organic pollutants, as well as their capacity to facilitate colonisation of selected bacterial and fungal strains. The selected microbes are attributed for the high Hg and Cd uptake and sequestration, thus, minimising negative impacts on the rhizosphere activity and decreasing organic contaminant loads. The microbial diversity will be assessed in relation to the impacts of inoculation and genetic transformation on poplar physiology.  Modified poplars are grown in a P2 greenhouse facility.

Application 3: estuarine sediment phytoremediation

Plants and sediments are watered with saline solutions to mimic the nutrient concentrations in estuarine waters. An irrigation system will be applied to simulate dynamics of the semidiurnal tidal. The systems will be hosted in greenhouse, where are exposed to natural light and environmental temperature. Alternative contaminants will be tested to the model solutions, while suspended or aggregated systems of bacteria will be inoculated to evaluate the effects of bioaugmentation in terms of contaminants removal in the sediments and in plant tissues. The uptake and biodegradation of microplastics by applied microorganisms will be also considered in test cases.

Close up of unrecognizable scientist wearing hazmat suit collecting water samples, focus on gloved hand holding test tube

Application 4: Treatment of (ground)water with BES reactors

Other than phytoremediation, BES will be also used for remediation of (ground)water. Microstructured electroactive microbial biofilms will be implemented on electrodes used in BES reactors that are processing contaminated water. The remediation technology targets a range of pollutants including TPHs, chlorinated hydrocarbons, antibiotics, and metals and metalloids. Such systems are featured by low materials costs, simplicity and facilitate upscaling. The BES reactor enables treatment at both electrodes (anode and cathode) promoting both oxidation and reduction of water pollutants. A cascade of BES reactors will be tuned with dipped and sprayed microbes to optimise bioelectric activity at low energy demands and reagents consumption.

Close up of unrecognizable scientist wearing hazmat suit collecting water samples, focus on gloved hand holding test tube
Woman's hands with flower soil

Application 5: Soil biostimulation and bioaugmentation

Selected genetically improved strains attributed by high contaminant removal performance will be also tested in soil for remediation. The consortia will be applied to bioaugment the community in soil microcosms and test alternative biostimulation strategies operating at different chemical compounds, fertilizers and enrichment treatments. In this scope, several physicochemical factors that are capable of affecting biodegradation – including soil temperature, salinity, pH, moisture content, nutrient content, etc. – will be studied and adjusted.