Construction of Bioreporting sytem for the detection of heavy metalion contamination
Through genetic manipulations, Ildiko combined a green fluorescent protein found in jellyfish with indicator bacteria to develop a system that detects heavy metal ion contamination.
Basically, it is a bacteria that glows green under UV light when it comes in contact with heavy metal ions. This bioreporting system would have many beneficial applications as a diagnostic test of heavy metal ion contamination in bodies of water, industrial waste sites and many other aquatic environments. I worked in the University of Windsor’s biochemistry labs for this project and I am still currently doing some work on it. Next year, a biochemistry graduate student will take over the work because I am leaving Windsor. Currently, I am in the process of determining the various detection levels of different clones and am in search of a super-sensitive clone of the bacteria.
Ildiko’s study was well conceived and very well executed,” explains Nomination Judge Dr. Peter Dold. “Gene manipulation for use in toxicity testing and bio-indicator testing methods is a new research area with many possible applications in the water environment industry.” With further experimentation, this bioreporting system can eventually be used as an important diagnostic tool in the detection of heavy metal ion contamination in industrial waste sites, lake sediments and aqueous environments.