HUNPROTEXC: The HUNgarian Integrated PROTein Science Program, Centre of EXCellence
Project title: HUNPROTEXC: Protein Science and its application National Programme
Project website: HunProtExc – Introduction – Med in Prot (elte.hu)
Project identification No: 2018-1.2.1-NKP-2018-00005
Funding Agency: National Research, Development and Innovation Fund
Category: Competitive and Excellence cooperation
Programme denomination: 2018-1.2.1-NKP
Sub-programme: “E” sub-programme- Protein Science and its applications National Programme
Project duration: 2019. 03. 01 – 2023. 02. 28
Project type: consortium
Project partners: Eötvös Lóránd University ELTE (consortium leader), Budapest University of Technology and Economics, TTK Research Centre for Natural Sciences (Hungarian Academy of Sciences)
The HUNgarian Integrated PROTein Science Program, Centre of EXCellence (in short: HunProtExc) is a unique and new initiative in Hungary with the following aims:
1) Interconnection of different expertise and research fields within protein science, network initialization and support.
2) Adapting the notion of competitive research collaboration, its support and the dissemination of results.
3) Synergy of research fields of protein science to further scientific excellence by facilitating collaborative research of well-renowned scientists on topics concerning medicinal biology, environmental protection / technology and state-of-the-art instrumentation (Synergy Modules).
4) Providing opportunities for young researchers (Start-up Modules),
5) Initiating formation of critical scientific mass on the shared Buda-campus of the 3 participating institutions.
6) Establishing of a protein science knowledge centre (Integrated Protein Facility, IPF), where besides basic and advanced research and development, service of recombinant protein production will be available.
The research topics covered by this program comprises cutting edge research exploring cancer, allergy, stroke (complement system), diabetes, Alzheimer and Parkinson diseases, the Frank-Ter Haar syndrome, non-aging (germline and tumour) cell-lines, proteomics, and enzymatic remediation (environmental protection), etc. all could lead to important discoveries. Training of young talents, as one of the key goals of our scientific excellence, will get greater emphasis through improvement of MSc and PhD programs, the support of a medicinal-biotechnology specialization, the establishment of new protein science research courses at our Universities both in Hungarian and in English
The leaders of this project are connected by years of scientific partnership and successful research collaboration (https://medinprot.chem.elte.hu/hunprotexc), Professors András Perczel (a chemist), Beáta G. Vértessy (a biochemist), László Buday (a medical doctor & molecular biologist) and László Nyitray (a biologist) are ready to face new challenges at a high level of excellence.
A KMBCS research group is involved in the research on the development of ecological remediation technologies utilising efficient microbial inoculants.
The aim of the research is to enhance the efficiency of biodegradation-based methods for remediation of hydrocarbon contaminated soils using microorganisms and enzymes with specific degradation activity. In the first phase of the research, we assessed the biodegradation potential and the microbiological activity in different soils contaminated with not readily biodegradable hydrocarbons (e.g. polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH); we established a microbiological methodology supporting the characterization of the environmental risk of these contaminated sites and planning of biodegradation-based bioremediation technologies. The potential PAH-degrading enzymes for experimental purposes were selected based on the analysis of contaminated soil samples and the scientific literature.
Project title: ELECTRA – Electricity driven Low Energy and Chemical input Technology foR Accelerated bioremediation
Project website: https://www.electra.site
Type of action: RIA (research & innovation)
Funding Agency: European Union / European Commission
Project duration: 2019. 01. 01 – 2022. 12. 31
Project type: consortial
ELECTRA is a consortium of European and Chinese partners.
The EC-funded consortium gathers 17 partners from 6 EU countries,1 Associated Country. 1 large Chinese company is part of the EC consortium without claiming any funding from the EC since NSFC finances only fundamental research and does not allow for the inclusion of companies as partners in NSFC projects. This company has a key/essential role in replicating field test experiments from European sites to Chinese sites.
Institution Abbreviation Country 1(Coordinator) FACHHOCHSCHULE NORDWESTSCHWEIZ FHNW CH 2 ALMA MATER STUDIORUM – UNIVERSITA DI BOLOGNA UNIBO IT 3 POLYTECHNEIO KRITIS TUC GR 4 UNIVERSITAT DE GIRONA UdG ES 5 UNIVERSITEIT GENT UGent BE 6 UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI ROMA LA SAPIENZA UNIRM IT 7 CONSIGLIO NAZIONALE DELLE RICERCHE CNR IT 8 HELMHOLTZ-ZENTRUM FUR UMWELTFORSCHUNG GMBH UFZ DE 9 IEG – TECHNOLOGIE GMBH IEG DE 10 BUDAPESTI MUSZAKI ES GAZDASAGTUDOMANYI EGYETEM BME HU 11 UNIVERSITAET DUISBURG-ESSEN UDE DE 12 METFILTER SOCIEDAD LIMITADA METFI ES 13 AVECOM AVEC BE 14 REGENHU SA REGEN CH 15 POTEN ENVIRONMENTAL GROUP CO., LTD. POTEN CN 16 EIDGENOSSISCHES DEPARTEMENT FUR VERTEIDIGUNG, BEVOLKERUNGSSCHUTZ UND SPORT VBS (DDPS) CH 17 ENI S.p.A. ENI IT 18 Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (Beijing) – Chinese Coordinator IMCAS China 19 Research Centre for Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences (Beijing) RCEES China 20 Nanjing University (Nanjing) NJU China 21 University of Science and Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (Hefei) USTC China 22 Nanjing Agricultural University NJAU China
The ELECTRA project is a EU-China RTD joint initiative that will deliver 2 innovative sets of novel electromicrobiology based environmental biotechnologies, facilitating/improving electron transfer during microbial degradation processes. Our approach will accelerate the elimination of several classes of pollutants and mixtures thereof in contaminated wastewater, groundwater, sediment and soil.
The first set of biotechnologies employs bioelectrochemical systems requiring low energyinput and no chemical addition.
The second set comprises biotechnologies, which necessitate no energy input and minimal chemical amendment using electromicrobial concepts.
ELECTRA biotechnologies will build on recent groundbreaking advances in biotechnology to develop them for environmental bioremediation applications and test the 4 most advanced technologies during field trials under various environmentally relevant conditions in both Europe (4 sites with contaminated wastewater, groundwater, soil, and sediment) and China (4 sites: mirroring tests concept) to prove their efficiency and robustness.
The ELECTRA project deliberately addresses the accelerated elimination of compounds representative of hydrocarbons and derivatives, emerging pollutants, metals and nutrients and mixtures thereof in environmentally relevant concentration as a wise and careful approach taking into account the real problem of contaminations by organic and inorganic pollutants as well as nutrients.
The ELECTRA project addresses the accelerated elimination of:
- Hydrocarbons (TPHs: polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and alkanes) and their halogenated derivatives (e.g.chlorinated aliphatic hydrocarbons (CAHs), polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs, halogenated aromatics);
- Metals (Sb, Pb, As, Hg, Cd, Zn);
- Nutrients (NH4+ and NO3-)
- Emerging micropollutants: antibiotics (e.g. fluoroquinolones and sulphonamides); flame retardants and endocrine disrupting chemicals (e.g. tetrabromobisphenol A and bisphenol A) and pesticides (e.g. bromoxynil and propiconazole).
The environmental impacts and financial costs associated with ELECTRA’s bioremediation technologies will be estimated from a life cycle and risk perspective to support the decision process in future treatment selections.
LCA will be used to evaluate the efficiency of the remediation technologies and to choose the technology Champions to be tested.
A web-based EDSS (Environmental Decision Support System) will be developed to help support relevant decision makers in selecting the most appropriate treatment option for target applications based on technical, environmental and economic criteria.
The main task of the Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology Research group within BME’s Applied Biotechnology and Food Science Department will be ecotoxicological monitoring of the experiments.
A problem-specific and complex monitoring methodology will be developed and applied by BME to follow changes in the ecotoxicity of contaminated WW, GW, soil and sediment before and after technology applications. The toxicity associated to the contaminated matrixes of the selected sites will be evaluated using a suite of ecotoxicity tests. For each matrix/contaminant, the most suitable ones will be then selected for the evaluation of the toxicity changes at the end of the bioremediation processes. For each matrix, test organisms from at least three trophic levels will be chosen and extrapolation to the complex ecosystem will be carried out.
Acute, chronic toxicity and genotoxic effects will be tested with standardized (based on ISO and OECD standards) or pollutant-specific test methods (e.g. D. magna heartbeat rate test for micropollutants). For the pollutant and matrix specific (WW, GW, soil, sediment) ecotoxicity toolkit BME will select the best combination of the following test organisms: Aliivibrio fischeri (luminescent aquatic bacterium), Bacillus subtilis (soil bacterium), Salmonella typhimurium (in Ames-test), Lemna minor (aquatic plant), Sinapis alba and Triticum aestivum (terrestrial plants), Tetrahymena pyriformis (protozoan), Daphnia magna (water living crustacean), Heterocypris incongruens (sediment living ostracoda), Folsomia candida (soil living insect), Enchytraeus albidus (potworm), etc. Except for aquatic test organisms, most of them can be applied for the testing of both liquid and solid samples.
In case of soils and sediments, both water extracts and whole soil/sediment samples (direct toxicity assessment, DTA) will be tested. DTA draws the attention to the chemically unmeasured or non-measurable, but existing hazardous components.
BME will be involved also in Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) of the different technologies to estimate environmental impacts associated with the application of the technology and in the development of the knowledge base of the multi criteria EDSS.