CREAM - Center for Environmental and Agricultural Microbiology
CREAM gathers excellent researchers in investigating microbial degradation processes under natural soil conditions and forms a platform for new ideas and strategies for efficient protection of our drinking water.
The overall fundamental aim of CREAM is to quantify factors and mechanisms that limit the biodegradation of organic contaminants in soil ecosystems and to identify the processes that control the current expansion of the soil antibiotic resistome. The corresponding overall applied aim is to provide a significantly improved knowledge base for risk assessment of selected organic and inorganic soil contaminants and for soil management-based solutions that can mitigate their adverse environmental and human impacts.
Heterogeneity and modeling contains work packages that all address different aspects of heterogeneity of contaminant biodegradation.
The specific aims of Theme A are:
- To identify and quantify bacterial traits underlying their spatial dynamics in soil.
- To develop and test models that predict how heterogeneity impacts contaminant degradation and leaching.
- To determine how heterogeneity of soil physical-chemical conditions affects degrader gene expression.
The soil bacterial resistome and mobilome contains workpackages that address the pools of soil bacterial resistance genes (resistome) and mobile genes (mobilome).
The specific aims of Theme B are:
- To identify the role of bioavailable metals as drivers for expansion of the soil bacterial resistome and to determine the ability of remediation technologies to control this expansion.
- To determine if micro-scale spatial heterogeneity of bioavailable Cu and Zn metals leads to hot-spots with high resistance levels in soil.
- To determine the mechanisms involved in co-selection of resistances to toxic metals and antimicrobial compounds.
- To quantify horizontal gene flow in bacterial communities as affected by differential selection pressures and soil conditions.
- To address the environmental fate of persistent and emerging veterinary pharmaceuticals and their ability to select for expansion of the soil bacterial resistome.