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Molecular Ecology Laboratories (MEL)

MEL Equipment

The D.02 molecular ecotoxicology and microbiology laboratories are focused on developing and implementing molecular-based techniques to anticipate and to address environmental scientific policy issues under the Water Framework Directive (WFD), Drinking Water Directive (DWD), and Bathing Water Directive (BWD), i.e. chemical mixture, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and the water contribution, new microbiological indicators.

MEL Lab Equipment


These activities contributes to the Zero pollution Ambition Goals, One Health Action Plan, Farm to Fork Strategy, and Strategy for the Pharmaceutical in the Environment (PiE) 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).
MEL Lab Computer


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).
MEL Instrument