Chronic Hydrocarbon Spills: Linking the Soil Microbiome to Biodegradation

Dates

End Date: 08/31/2017

Biodegradation in subsurface environments depends significantly on the compositions of soil microbial communities and pollutant mixtures. So far, this problem has not been analyzed in the context of the soil microbiome using state-of-the-art metagenomic and other methods that can resolve this interdependence. The complexity of subsurface biogeochemical systems likely requires such an approach. We hypothesize that depending upon the composition of environmental pollutant mixtures the soil microbiome may be significantly affected along with its ability to degrade the pollutants. In a full proposal, we would examine this hypothesis through a combination of field sampling and soil microcosms to elucidate the role of the microbiome in contaminant degradation. We would use high-throughput gene sequencing to characterize the soil microbiome, and PCR analyses to examine the roles of specific bacterial species. We plan to examine changes in the composition and function of the soil microbiome in response to an understudied contamination scenario: small hydrocarbon spills that occur due to the operation of motor vehicles. The chronicity of such spills results in significant cumulative spill volumes and potential adaption of the soil microbiome.

Baltimore City, United States

People

Joanne Katz, ScD MS,BSc

Associate Chair, Director of Academic Programs

Caitlin Kennedy, PhD MPH,BA

Co-Director, MPH concentration in Social and Behavioral Sciences in Public Health; Associate Director, Center for Qualitative...

Stefan Baral, MD MPH,MBA,MSc

Director, Key Populations Program

Yukari C. Manabe, MD

Associate Director of Global Health Research and Innovation

Robert Bollinger Jr., MD MPH

Director, Johns Hopkins Center for Clinical Global Health Education (CCGHE); Associate Director, Johns Hopkins Center for Global...

Noreen Hynes, MD MPH

Director, Geographic Medicine Center of the Division of Infectious Diseases
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December 2019

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