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Arsenic Microbiome Project

Arsenic (As) contamination of groundwater and soil constitutes a global environmental concern throughout the world. Hundreds of tube wells in rural Bangladesh are currently affected with unacceptable arsenic concentrations exceeding the limit of 0.05 mg/L. Microorganisms have evolved various As resistance mechanisms including arsenic detoxication and transformation. However, the study of arsenic transforming bacteria in Bangladesh is limited. Our lab is currently investigating arsenite (As3+) oxidizing microbiome (chemoautotrophic, heterotrophic and phototrophic bacteria) using both cultivation dependent and molecular based methods. Current project encompasses-

  • Bacterial community analysis from arsenic contaminated soil and water In different arsenic contaminated regions in Bangladesh

  • Isolation of arsenite transforming bacteria (chemoautotrophic and phototrophic)

  • Functional gene analysis: aox,arx, arr gene diversity, expression analysis

  • Modeling a sustainable arsenic remediation approach (lab scale and pilot scale)

Therefore, microbial involvement of natural arsenic transformation is investigated to acquire information on construction of a sustainable strategy for biological arsenic removal in Bangladesh.

 

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