Jan Roelof van der Meer


Bacterial Abiotic Cellular Stress and Survival Improvement Network

Domaine: Cooperation FAB

Acronyme: BACSIN

Durée: 01.06.2008 – 31.05.2012

Budget total: 5.530.000 EUR

Budget UNIL: 606.839 EUR


Jan Roelof van der Meer, Département de microbiologie fondamentale, FBM



BACSIN is a 16-member consortium with the main focus to improve rational exploitation of the catalytic properties of bacteria for the treatment and prevention of environmental pollution. Current application of bacteria in the environment is hindered by the lack of knowledge on the effects of stresses on cellular activity, most importantly abiotic stresses prevailing on site (e.g., desiccation or nutrient starvation), stresses as a result of pollution itself (e.g., toxicity), and those during strain preparation and formulation.

BACSIN proposes four iterative poles of research and technology to overcome this hindrance for subsequent improved microbial usage. The 1st pole will investigate genome-wide catabolic and stress expression in a set of different pollutant degrading bacteria (the BACSINs ). Key cellular factors and regulatory networks determining the interplay between stress-survival and pollutant catabolism will be unveiled, and faithful predictive models for cell behaviour produced. The 2nd pole will study stress resistance, survival and activity of BACSINs in real polluted environments, via microcosms and in situ traps, plant roots and leaves, while accentuating possible effects on native communities.