Environmental biotechnology is inherently tied to microbial ecology since microbial ecology provides the scientific foundation for the processes used to achieve the practical goals of environmental biotechnology. Our research groups in Bogazici University and Istanbul Technical University integratesmolecular microbial ecology with environmental engineering in the emerging field of environmental biotechnology. We use culture-independent analyses of microbial communities in combination with microbial activity measurements. Our research is mainly oriented towards determining interactions between dominant species, process type, wastewater composition and performance of biological treatment processes. Besides engineered systems, we also study microbial diversity in natural ecosystems such as Karadeniz/the Black Sea, the Marmara Sea and Haliç (Golden Horn), and bioremediation of petroleum related pollutants in anoxic sediments from the Marmara Sea.

Our lab is equipped to conduct the full rRNA cycle which is considered to be the best approach to characterize the community structure of complex environmental systems:

  • Extraction of genomic DNA from environmental samples and amplification of 16s rDNA sequences using polymerase chain reaction (PCR).
  • Cloning and sequencing of amplified  16s rDNA sequences
  • Community fingerprinting using denaturant gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE)
  • Quantification of specific microbial species using real time PCR (Q-PCR)
  • Identification, localization and quantification of specific microbial species in their natural habitats using fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) combined with confocal scanning laser microscopy (CSLM).

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