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Evaluating the impact of ecological growth strategies of bacteria on plasmid transfer and function for bioremediation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

Sep 9

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Friday, September 9, 2022 - 12:00pm to 1:15pm

Seminar speaker, Paige Varner, smiling, wearing a red shirt, and standing in front of a brick wall.


Paige Varner, PhD Candidate, Duke University

Typical bioremediation methods that involve adding bacteria to contaminated sediment often fail due to die-off of exogenous bacteria. Genetic bioaugmentation adds degradative genes to adapted, native bacteria via plasmid transfer for sustained removal of contaminants. However, the absence of methods for tracking plasmid transfer in-situ have resulted in a lack of understanding of factors that affect gene transfer and expression. In her research, Varner developed fluorescence-based methods for tracking in-situ plasmid transfer to evaluate the impact of bacterial growth strategies on plasmid transfer and function of two PAH-degrading plasmids in simple and complex communities. This work aims to understand the factors that promote genetic bioaugmentation in complex communities for sustained removal of PAHs and other contaminants. THIS IS A HYBRID SEMINAR: LIVE IN-PERSON & VIA ZOOM: -IN-PERSON: Field Auditorium (room 1112), Grainger Hall (9 Circuit Dr, Durham). Masks are required. -ZOOM: Must register for link: -Both attendance options are free and open to all.