The Use of Mussel Gene Expression Profiles to Determine the Pollutant Decontamination Efficacy of Solvated Electron Reduction Technology - An Interdisciplinary Collaboration

EPA Grant Number: R829421E01
Title: The Use of Mussel Gene Expression Profiles to Determine the Pollutant Decontamination Efficacy of Solvated Electron Reduction Technology - An Interdisciplinary Collaboration
Investigators: Wang, Shiao Y. , Biesiot, Patricia M. , Pittman, Charles U.
Institution: University of Southern Mississippi , Mississippi State University
EPA Project Officer: Chung, Serena
Project Period: May 8, 2002 through May 7, 2004 (Extended to May 7, 2006)
Project Amount: $228,750
RFA: EPSCoR (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) (2001) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: EPSCoR (The Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research)


The first objective is to further improve and better understand solvated electron (Na/NH3 and Ca/NH3) reductions to destroy PAHs, and organic nitro/nitrate compounds, both in soils and sludges. The second objective is to develop a suite of molecular biomarkers of chemical stress response in the freshwater mussel. These are complimentary objectives because the reduction products from the treatment of the aforementioned pollutants (particularly PAHs and nitro/nitrate compounds) contain complex mixtures that are not fully characterized. Because specific genes are activated to produce proteins that help mussels tolerate different types of chemical stressors, the molecular biomarkers developed will be used to determine whether the products of the treated pollutants are environmentally safe for on?site disposal. This information is critical in determining the economic feasibility of the proposed soil remediation technology.


Soils contaminated with environmentally relevant concentrations of PAHs and nitro compounds such as TNT and dinitrophenol will be treated with solvated electron solutions. Reactions with different amounts of water will be performed using the Na and Ca/NH3 systems to determine how the reduction of water competes with pollutant reduction. Levels of pollutants will be analyzed before and after treatment. Concurrently, mussels will be exposed to environmentally relevant concentrations of the same pollutants to isolate genes whose expression are enhanced in response to the exposure using subtractive hybridization. These genes will be cloned and used to create DNA microarrays for gene expression profile studies. The environmental efficacy of the solvated electron reduction treatment method will be determined by comparing the gene expression profile of mussels exposed to the pollutants versus profiles of mussels exposed to the reduction products and of healthy control mussels.

Expected Results:

We expect to better understand the solvated electron reduction chemical treatment method. Of particular importance is the determination of the amount of Na required for PAH and nitro compound remediation at varying levels of soil moisture. We expect to isolate a suite of mussel genes whose expression are altered by chemical exposures to these specific classes of pollutant. Most importantly, we expect to be able to determine whether toxicity of treated pollutants are eliminated by solvated electron reduction. The cloned mussel genes will provide not only primer sequences useful for expression quantitation by RT-PCR, they will also provide cloned DNA for the manufacture of DNA microarrays for future projects on the use of chip technology as an ultrasensitive biomonitoring tool.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 6 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 2 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

PAH, nitro compounds, solvated electron reduction technology, molecular biology, DNA, gene expression, microarrays, remediation, innovative technology, cleanup., Scientific Discipline, Water, Waste, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Environmental Chemistry, Geochemistry, Contaminated Sediments, Analytical Chemistry, Fate & Transport, Ecology and Ecosystems, electrokinetics, fate and transport, contaminant transport, bioavailability, contaminated sediment, desorption kinetics, PAH, electron reduction technology, nitrate compounds, bioremediation of soils, chemical kinetics, munitions residues, mussel gene expression profiles, water quality, sorption experiments, TNT, contaminant transport models, munitions

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2002 Progress Report
  • 2003 Progress Report
  • 2004 Progress Report
  • Final Report