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Reston Microbiology Laboratory

The RML research team conducts research on the fate of contaminants and nutrients in surface and subsurface environments with the goal of understanding how interactions between microbes and their environment can be used to solve anthropogenic issues. The team has expertise in microbial ecology, biogeochemistry, geomicrobiology, and molecular biology. We combine field observations and laboratory experiments to determine how microbes impact contaminant mitigation, environmental health, energy production, and carbon cycling.

News

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Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke Visits with Scientists from the Reston Biogeochemical Processes in Groundwater Lab

Publications

Acetylenotrophic and diazotrophic Bradyrhizobium sp. strain I71 from TCE-contaminated soils

AbstractAcetylene (C2H2) is a molecule rarely found in nature, with very few known natural sources, but acetylenotrophic microorganisms can use acetylene as their primary carbon and energy source. As of 2018 there were 15 known strains of aerobic and anaerobic acetylenotrophs; however, we hypothesize there may yet be unrecognized diversity of acetylenotrophs in nature. This study expands the known

Microbial community response to a bioaugmentation test to degrade trichloroethylene in a fractured rock aquifer, Trenton, N.J

Bioaugmentation is a promising strategy for enhancing trichloroethylene (TCE) degradation in fractured rock. However, slow or incomplete biodegradation can lead to stalling at degradation byproducts such as 1,2-dichloroethene (cis-DCE) and vinyl chloride (VC). Over the course of 7 years, we examined the response of groundwater microbial populations in a bioaugmentation test where an emulsified veg

Complete genome sequence of Rhodococcus opacus strain MoAcy1 (DSM 44186), an aerobic acetylenotroph isolated from soil

We report the genome of Rhodococcus opacus strain MoAcy1 (DSM 44186), an aerobic soil isolate capable of using acetylene as its primary carbon and energy source (acetylenotrophy). The genome is composed of a single circular chromosome of ∼8 Mbp and two closed plasmids, with a G+C content of 67.3%.

Science

Two Scientists Receive Early Career Excellence in Leadership Award

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) 2016 Early Career Excellence in Leadership Award was given to Dr. Denise M. Akob and Dr. Karl B. Haase. Drs. Akob and Haase have demonstrated outstanding leadership through their scientific accomplishments and service to the USGS.
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Two Scientists Receive Early Career Excellence in Leadership Award

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) 2016 Early Career Excellence in Leadership Award was given to Dr. Denise M. Akob and Dr. Karl B. Haase. Drs. Akob and Haase have demonstrated outstanding leadership through their scientific accomplishments and service to the USGS.
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