Project rheingold: Rapid biosensor analysis of soil and groundwater toxicity

LA Glover*, H Weitz, HL Kuan, S Sousa, K Killham, E Bar, R Henkler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPublished conference contribution


A toxicity survey can provide invaluable information prior to managed bioremediation of industrially contaminated sites. Furthermore, toxicity monitoring is often required during site remediation to monitor progress. Conventional toxicity assessment involves analytical techniques such as spectrometry, chromatography (HPLC and GC), CC-mass spectrometry and atomic absorption techniques for the determination of heavy metals. These techniques are powerful and sensitive to ppm and ppb levels. However, the ability to detect a compound does not provide information regarding the biological effects of that compound, its persistence in the environment, or information that can be employed in the design of a remediation strategy, lux-marked bacterial biosensors have been found to be rapid and sensitive indicators of toxicity of a wide range of organic and inorganic pollutants. This paper reports the use of lux-marked Escherichia coli (selected as a general indicator) and lux-marked pseudomonads (selected for site relevance) to assess the toxicity of soils and groundwater at a BTEX contaminated site. This approach, coupled with a regime of sample manipulation, allows the determination of the nature of the toxicity as well as providing information on which to base a remediation strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIn Situ Bioremediation of Petroleum Hydrocarbon and Other Organic Compounds
EditorsBC Alleman, A Leeson
Place of PublicationColumbus
PublisherBattelle Press
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)1-57477-076-4
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Event5th International In Situ and On-Site Bioremediation Symposium - SAN DIEGO, Canada
Duration: 19 Apr 199922 Apr 1999


Conference5th International In Situ and On-Site Bioremediation Symposium




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