The Directorate Environmental Biotechnology Laboratory part of Unit D.02 Ocean and Water, is focused on applying bio-based technologies to generate scientific evidences to address priorities in the environmental policy area.
By its nature environmental biotechnologies uses an interdisciplinary approach in addressing the complex environmental challenges facing our society, such as chemical mixture, antimicrobial resistance (AMR), water scarcity and pollutions, new microbiological indicators.
The EBL is closely linked to the water-related polices, Water Framework Directive (WFD), Ground Water Directive (GWD), Drinking Water Directive (DWD), and Bathing Water Directive (BWD).
These activities contributes to the Zero Pollution Action Plan, One Health Action Plan, Farm to Fork Strategy, and water resilience under the umbrella of Climate Change. Particularly the laboratories are focused on:
- Bioassays and biomarkers for detection of chemical mixture effects on aquatic organisms and indirectly on human health
- Antimicrobial Resistance and water contribution. Development of methods for the detection of antimicrobial resistant genes (ARG) and investigation on the mechanism of the spreading and maintenance of the AMR in aquatic environment.
- Microbiome in water and plant-disease (using metagenomics) to anticipate pathogens and non-pathogens (including cyanobacterial and algal bloom) as indicators of more complex scenario, such as multiples stressors and climate change.
- Validation of molecular based method (quantitative Polymerase Chain reaction, qPCR) for the detection of Escherichia coli (E.coli) in drinking water and bathing waters in collaboration with other research groups (interlaboratories exercise).
List of instruments
The two main laboratories, the environmental molecular ecotoxicology and microbiology share the common facilities:
- A dedicated laboratory for cell culture and eukaryotic algae;
- A dark room with a fluorescence microscopy, fluorescence spectrophotometer and Imagine PAM for the photosynthesis system detection;
- A PCR facility equipped with two PCR instruments, a quantitative PCR, and a digital PCR.
- Two instruments for fluorescence detection, and access to the Instrument for Next Generation Sequencing (NGS).