Determining the Influence of Metabolic Pathway Interactions on the Contaminant Degradation Performance of Microbial...

Degree: PhD
University: Friedrich Schiller University , Faculty: Fakultt Fr Mathematik und Informatik
City: Jena , Country: Germany
Discipline: Natural Sciences
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  • Start Date of Studies Unknown
  • Admission deadline The positions are open until an appropriate candidate is found.
  • Language English
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  • Programme Description

    Programme Description

    Microbial degradation is the main process controlling the natural attenuation of organic contaminants in soil-groundwater systems. ¬For many contaminants, individual bacterial strains or consortia have been identified as degraders and some of their metabolic degradation pathways have been elaborated. This knowledge is however, commonly obtained from laboratory experiments using enrichment cultures. In contrast, in natural systems many strains contribute to the degradation of a contaminant and the interactions between these strains and specific degradation pathways cannot be derived from such laboratory experiments. In this project, the relevance of such interactions for the overall degradation performance of a multi-species bacterial community will be investigated by combining advanced computational approaches (database analysis, theoretical network reconstruction, reactive transport modeling) with ecological theory and results from laboratory experiments. Theoretically derived reaction networks describing different types of interaction mechanisms will be evaluated in silico for their effects on degradation performance. Hypotheses derived from computational results will be tested using experimental data obtained for multi-species microbial communities. The project requires a solid background in computational sciences. In addition, expertise in microbiology is beneficial. The work is done in close collaboration between the University of Jena and the UFZ in Leipzig.


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