Our commitment to the European project ARISTO

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RevIsing and Advancing the Assessment of the Soil Microbial TOxicity of Pesticides

HYDREKA is proud to announce its participation to the European project ARISTO, through its BU Environmental Expertise (ARISTO website coming soon).

This project is an ITN-EID project (Innovative Training Network / European Industry-Academy network) which aims to train the next generation of Microbial Ecotoxicologists and to generate benchmarking knowledge for the development of advanced tools to accurately assess the toxicity of pesticides on soil microorganisms. It involves 7 universities and 9 companies in 8 countries. 9 PhD students will be trained and will collaborate in this dense network.


The project, coordinated by Pr Karpouzas from the University of Thessaly, Greece, will confront the beneficial impact for some microbes (yang) and detrimental impact for other microbes (yin) (and all shades between them) of pesticides towards soil and water microbial communities as shown on the figure below. Microbes are an essential part of the ecosystem allowing fertilization of the soil and plants to grow. The pesticide use have profound impact at every microbial level, from the viruses to the fungi and small predators. ARISTO will develop new knowledge and tools needed to understand and evaluate this Yin/Yang balance. This will be done by studying communities with growing complexities from small mock (few organisms) communities to real soils communities. 

Ultimately, ARISTO will have an influence on the European regulation towards in-use and new compounds release allowing us to participate in making a healthier, cleaner and safer environment for everybody, everywhere.


Figures are courtesy of Pr KARPOUZAS

As an industrial partner, HYDREKA will codirect one of the PhD student, with Pr Chatnizotas from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Germany. Specifically, the student will unravel the pesticide interactions on the different trophic levels, including bacteria, predatory microbes (e.g., protists) and viruses. In this frame, lab microcosm studies (small images of the soil ecosystem) of different complexities will be established. The responses of interacting trophic levels upon pesticide exposure and the cascading effects on the dynamics, diversity and adaptation of both predator and prey levels and on related soil ecosystem functions will be followed.

HYDREKA Business Unit Environmental Expertise will bring its expertise in setting up microcosms and in assessing microbial communities following specific genes (degradation genes) through the communities and through the latest sequencing technologies (second and third generation) revealing the full soil gene contents. The evaluation of soil health and soil health restauration are tools that we wish to develop in this network.

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