Environmental Communities (environmental + community)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Novel polymerase chain reaction primers for the specific detection of bacterial copper P-type ATPases gene sequences in environmental isolates and metagenomic DNA

R. De la Iglesia
Abstract Aims:, In the last decades, the worldwide increase in copper wastes release by industrial activities like mining has driven environmental metal contents to toxic levels. For this reason, the study of the biological copper-resistance mechanisms in natural environments is important. Therefore, an appropriate molecular tool for the detection and tracking of copper-resistance genes was developed. Methods and Results:, In this work, we designed a PCR primer pair to specifically detect copper P-type ATPases gene sequences. These PCR primers were tested in bacterial isolates and metagenomic DNA from intertidal marine environments impacted by copper pollution. As well, T-RFLP fingerprinting of these gene sequences was used to compare the genetic composition of such genes in microbial communities, in normal and copper-polluted coastal environments. New copper P-type ATPases gene sequences were found, and a high degree of change in the genetic composition because of copper exposure was also determined. Conclusions:, This PCR based method is useful to track bacterial copper-resistance gene sequences in the environment. Significance and Impact of the Study:, This study is the first to report the design and use of a PCR primer pair as a molecular marker to track bacterial copper-resistance determinants, providing an excellent tool for long-term analysis of environmental communities exposed to metal pollution. [source]

Metagenomic studies reveal the critical and wide-ranging ecological importance of uncultivated archaea: the role of ammonia oxidizers

BIOESSAYS, Issue 1 2007
Ricardo Cavicchioli
Microbial genome sequencing has entered a new phase, where DNA sequence information is gathered from entire microbial communities (metagenomics or environmental genomics) rather than from individual microorganisms. By providing access to the genetic material of vast numbers of organisms, most of which are organisms that have never been isolated or cultivated, a new level of insight is being gained into the diversity and extent of the microbial processes that are presently occuring in environmental communities. By extending metagenomic-based approaches to the study of very complex and methodologically recalcitrant soil environments, a recent study has found that ammonia-oxidizing archaea are more abundant in many soils than bacteria.1 These findings not only highlight the undoubtedly critical yet unknown roles that archaea play in global nutrient cycles but illustrate the importance of genomic studies for informing us about the functional capacity of life on Earth. BioEssays 29: 11,14, 2007. 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. [source]

Harnessing Catastrophe to Promote Resource Recovery and Eco-industrial Development

Kristen B. Ardani
Summary Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, causing widespread damage to industry, housing, and infrastructure. The area of New Orleans East was particularly devastated, including a cluster of industries, such as a major food-processing plant, manufacturing facilities, and bulk material and gas processors. Although this area was well suited for resource recovery and eco-industrial linkages, little progress has been made in implementation. This article explores New Orleans as a case study in the application of industrial ecology to disaster management. Hurricane Katrina's damage to New Orleans resulted in a significant increase in the amount of waste flowing into New Orleans East, which precipitated a massive expenditure of federal funds toward debris management. Those circumstances created an unprecedented opportunity to capitalize a resource recovery program and to establish eco-industrial relationships, both of which would have resulted in new jobs and environmental improvement. Yet straightforward opportunities for resource recovery and eco-industrial linkage were overlooked or dismissed, in spite of antilandfill activism from the environmental community and formal recommendations for recycling from scientists and other professionals. We describe the specific resource recovery and eco-industrial opportunities that were available to New Orleans East, especially those that were magnified by Hurricane Katrina, and analyze the barriers that prevented their actualization. We also provide recommendations for overcoming barriers to resource recovery and eco-industrial progress with the goal that future postcatastrophe scenarios may benefit from more effective use of relief and recovery funding. [source]

Arsenic and thallium data in environmental samples: Fact or fiction?

REMEDIATION, Issue 4 2010
Susan D. Chapnick
Matrix effects may increasingly lead to erroneous environmental decisions as regulatory limits or risk-based concentrations of concern for trace metals move lower toward the limits of analytical detection. A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Technical Standards Alert estimated that environmental data reported using inductively coupled plasma spectrometry (ICP-AES) has a false-positive rate for thallium of 99.9 percent and for arsenic of 25 to 50 percent. Although this does not seem to be widely known in the environmental community, using three case studies, this article presents data in environmental samples that demonstrate severe matrix effects on the accuracy of arsenic and thallium results. Case Study 1 involves soil results with concentrations that approached or exceeded the applicable regulatory soil cleanup objectives of 13 mg/kg for arsenic and 2 mg/kg for thallium. Reanalysis using ICP coupled with a mass spectrometer (ICP-MS) confirmed all thallium results were false positives and all arsenic results were biased high, concluding no action was required for soil remediation. Case Study 2 involves groundwater results for thallium at a Superfund site, where thallium was detected in groundwater up to 21.6 , g/L using ICP-AES. Reanalysis by ICP-MS reported thallium as nondetect below the applicable regulatory level in all samples. ICP-MS is usually a more definitive and accurate method of analysis compared to ICP-AES; however, this is not always the case, as we demonstrate in Case Study 3, using data from groundwater samples at an industrial site. Through a weight-of-evidence approach, it is demonstrated that although method quality control results were acceptable, interferences in some groundwater samples caused biased high results for arsenic using ICP-MS, which were significantly lower when reanalyzed using hydride generation atomic fluorescence spectrometry. Causes of these interference effects and conclusions from the three case studies to obtain accurate metal data for site assessment, risk characterization, and remedy selection are discussed. 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. [source]