Heavy metal and antibiotic metabolism in Arctic bacterial microbiocenoses – metagenomic, metatranscriptomic and genomic analyses

Grant number: 2016/22/E/NZ8/00340
Funded by:

National Science Centre

Project description:
The main aim of this project is to perform complex metagenomic, genomic, metatranscriptomic and functional analyses of heavy metal and antibiotic metabolism (including resistance) in Arctic bacterial microbiocenoses, in course of recognizing the ecological role and adaptive features of bacteria inhabiting this extreme environment. The detailed objectives of the presented research proposal are as follows: (i) evaluation of an adaptive potential of bacteria (focusing on heavy metal and antibiotic metabolism) inhabiting extreme Arctic region in the light of the systems modeling approach for microbial community study; (ii) insight into the overall metabolic potential of cold-active bacterial microbiocenoses, combined with the metatranscriptomic analysis evaluating if the identified genes are active or remain silent; (iii) identification and analysis of genes whose products are directly and indirectly involved in the biogeochemical processes occurring in Arctic – evaluating ecological role of cold-active bacteria in shaping the abiotic environment and their potential for self-purification of polar environments; (iv) identification of novel strains and genes relevant for biotechnology, including: novel antimicrobial agent and siderophore producers, and bacterial strains or consortia suitable in bioremediation technologies; (v) identification of novel “primal” resistance mechanisms to antibiotics and heavy metals; (vi) analysis of the distribution and dissemination of heavy metal and antibiotic resistance genes in the environment with a limited anthropogenic influence and testing the hypothesis that those genetic determinants are mainly an outcome of antibiotic/industrial era; (vii) analysis of the co-selection, co-resistance/co-localization and cross-resistance phenomena in an extreme (and not significantly changed by the humans) environment; (viii) identification and analysis of novel mobile genetic elements (MGEs) of cold-active bacteria and evaluation of their link with heavy metal and antibiotic resistance and metabolism genes; (ix) development of novel publically available databases for metagenomic studies, including: the heavy metal and antibiotic resistance and metabolism genes database, mobile genetic elements of cold-active bacteria database and a database of MGEs marker genes/proteins; (x) designing novel sets of primers for the environmental analyses of heavy metal and antibiotic metabolism genes.