TSU’s Department of Genetics and Cell Biology and a corporate group, Darwin, are investigating bacteria strains that can oxidize (destroy) hydrocarbon molecules in oil-polluted bodies of water. The goal is to determine genetic differences that are responsible for this. That would allow geneticists to unite useful characteristics of different bacteria in one strain and recover bodies of water more effectively.
According to the research papers that TSU scientists have analyzed, oxidation occurs with the help of various enzymes – protein compounds that quicken chemical reactions in living organisms. The researchers chose several enzymes that could potentially be responsible for these reactions and are currently studying Arctic strains for whether they have them.
The researcher says that the genes of such ferments that allow bacteria to destroy oil can be located on a chromosome and transfer from generation to generation or in a plasmid, a small circular DNA molecule that bacteria can share with each other.
After determining genetic sequences responsible for different activities, the geneticists can collect all the genetic codes in one plasmid and inject it into any strain. Due to that, a bacteria will be able to work in new conditions and become a universal soldier with multiple functions.
This will solve one of the biggest issues of manufacturing biological products: not all strains can get along well. Additionally, the time and amount of work will be reduced because the will be no need to cultivate ten different kinds of bacteria. As a result, the final product might be more effective and cost less, which will help clear more water ecosystems.