Within the scope of this project, bacteria which deposit oxidized iron compounds under neutral pH conditions will be identified and characterized. For this purpose, samples from various facilities, made available by our industrial partners, are used. These are both in fountains and in drinking water and process water systems in which oxide formation and sedimentation occurs.
For the identification and quantification of the relevant organisms, various cultural techniques and cultivation-independent methods are used. Sequence data are used to develop new gene probes or primers to detect the different bacteria in their natural habitat. For this, qPCR as well as fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) are used, in conjunction with epifluorescence microscopy or confocal laser scanning microscopy. Iron bacteria from the FG strain collection, as well as the new isolates, are to be used in biofilm reactors to adjust the process of sedimentation under laboratory conditions.
Another goal of the project is to either slow down the process of ockerous fermentations in engineered water systems or even reverse it under certain conditions. This approach is intended to provide new ways and strategies for the regeneration of the plants.