CenteR for Environmental and Agricultural Microbiology.

    Project Details


    Modern agricultural practices introduce a variety of contaminating chemicals to surface soils
    through practices such as chemical pest management, manure application, and deposition of biosolids
    from wastewater treatment plants. In addition, diffuse pollution of residential and agricultural
    soils in urban areas or near traffic corridors may constitute an underestimated problem. Many of
    these contaminants are degraded slowly or incompletely in top soils, and may therefore leach to
    lower soil horizons, and ultimately contaminate aquifers. As a result, soil contamination, e.g. by
    pesticides, hydrocarbons, and veterinary as well as human pharmaceuticals is creating a legitimate
    concern in the public: Are residential soils safe? Can agricultural soils continue to generate safe
    crops for human consumption? Will the underlying aquifers continue to provide safe drinking waters?
    Microbial transformation and degradation of contaminating compounds are of major importance in
    soil environments. Yet, few studies have identified and quantified the true rate limiting processes of
    contaminant degradation at low concentrations of contaminants in undisturbed soil samples, and at
    the scale relevant for microbial life forms. The goals of the proposed cross-disciplinary and multiinstitutional
    research center are to elucidate, quantify, and ultimately find ways to control the ratelimiting
    processes for biodegradation of selected contaminants in soil systems.
    Effective start/end date01/06/200631/05/2011


    • Unknown


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