Dettagli del progetto


Using MicroBes for the Regulation of heavy metaL mobiLity at ecosystem and landscape scAle: an integrative approach for soil remediation by geobiological processes



Responsabile ENEA:


Sito web:


The overall goal of UMBRELLA is to use microorganisms to develop cost-efficient and sustainable measures for soil remediation at heavy metal contaminated sites throughout Europe. This will be facilitated by research in microbiology, plant uptake and (hydro)geochemistry centers on the study of microbial influence on metal biogeochemical cycles and their impact for use in soil and water protection. The technologies developed provide a speed-up of existing bioremediation techniques and will provide a tool-box to end-users with microbes for remediation actions in different European climatic, geological and biological setting which will allow low-cost, sustainable, on-site bioremediation of metal contaminations. At the same time, the introduction of a concerted, internationalized education of interdisciplinary trained PhD students across Europe will ascertain a long-lasting, sustainable education profile with relevance to soil remediation. The involvement of government agencies is focussing on the possibility to provide governments with fused guidelines for soil and water protection in a way that overcomes the practises of separated agencies by focussing on ecotoxicological risks resulting from metal contamination on-site as well as by transport through water paths in ground water and international water ways. Dissemination of results will be ensured by international congresses and publications. The management of an integrative, multi-partner consortium ensures the applicability by combination of eight sites across Europe in one modeling approach which will cover Northern, Southern, Middle and Eastern European sites to guarantee future applicability across Europe.

Attività svolta da ENEA:

A comparative physiological characterization of microbial communities native to 6 different mining-sites will be performed, at community-level, using the BIOLOG system together with other methods which specifically address properties related to living in hostile, metal rich soils at (former) mining sites, which are generally poor in organic nutrients. This will also include molecular characterization of microbial communities, using PCR-DGGE, and the physiological characterisation of individual strains for specific enzymes or molecules produced and for heavy metal resistances. The soil from which strains have been isolated will be characterised; analyses of both total heavy metals burden and the bioavailable fraction will be carried out, in order to investigate if it is possible to show a significant correlation between the distribution of bioavailable heavy metals and the distribution of microbial resistances to the corresponding metals. A geographical analysis of the biodiversity of the microbial communities native to the six mining sites and their relation with the detected physico-chemical traits would also contribute to a better understanding of the ecology of various mining sites Europe- wide.

Programma Quadro:

Settimo Programma Quadro R&ST (2007-2013)

Programma UE:

AMBIENTE (2007-2013)

Tipo di progetto:

CP-FP - Progetto di collaborazione-progetto mirato