BIOSYSMO is a 48-month action that will develop a computationally-assisted framework for designing and optimising synergistic biosystems combining the required pathways and traits to achieve the most efficient degradation and sequestration of pollutant mixtures.

These biosystems will comprise combinations of bacteria, fungi and plants containing the natural or engineered pathways required for pollutants degradation and identified based on a computationally-assisted analysis. BIOSYSMO will take advantage of the high natural microbial diversity by screening samples from polluted sites and locations affected by diffuse pollution to identify natural microorganisms already present and able to metabolise the target pollutants. The search will be expanded to microorganisms previously identified and characterised by applying data mining tools to genomic and metagenomic data available in public repositories.

The construction and optimisation of synergistic biosystems will combine approaches based on:

  • enhancing plantmicrobe (bacteria, fungi) interactions to achieving combinations with improved pollutant uptake and/or degradation;
  • engineering bacteria, for improved degradation and bioaugmentation, and plants (poplar tree), for improved microbial colonisation and pollutant uptake;
  • constructing artificial micro-structured consortia into aggregates and biofilms, containing all the required pathways for pollutant removal; and
  • applying bioelectrochemical systems (BES) as stand-alone or in hybrid systems

The constructed biosystems will be optimised for the treatment of mixtures of pollutants in soil, sediments and waters through conventional (phytoremediation, biopile, bioaugmentation) and innovative (BES, hybrid BES-phytoremediation) bioremediation approaches

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