The relevance of fundamental research on how a micropollutant is biologically converted into less toxic and persistent chemicals is the first step to apply biochemical knowledge on industrial processes. Even though Tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA) is the most used flame retardant worldwide and is often detected in wastewaters and water bodies, its biodegradation is poorly understood. The comprehension of the TBBPA bioconversion process may lead to extent knowledge on other flame retardants environmental fate and to further optimization on wastewater treatment biotechnologies. From previous studies, it seems that the degradation of TBBPA is catalyzed by physiologically diverse organisms in different environmental settings, but the studies often yield conflicting and inconclusive results, requiring more profound investigations. Even though the biochemical pathways, enzymatic activity, cofactors, and environmental interference on TBBPA degradation by natural occurring microbial communities are of major relevance, they remain scarce and little explored. Thus, this project aims at enhancing the comprehension of the microorganisms' interactions and the metabolic pathways responsible for the biocatalytic reactions on TBBPA degradation through advanced meta-omics studies.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: