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Characterization of bacterial communities in soils treated with biochar

Grant number: 23/14498-2
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): December 20, 2023
Effective date (End): March 19, 2024
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology - Applied Ecology
Principal Investigator:Evaldo Luiz Gaeta Espindola
Grantee:Fernanda Oliva Pintucci
Supervisor: Luciana Migliore
Host Institution: Escola de Engenharia de São Carlos (EESC). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Research place: Università degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergata, Italy  
Associated to the scholarship:22/08941-8 - Potential for using the sugarcane biochar as a sealing barrier at soil contaminated with fipronil and 2,4-D, BP.IC


Due to the increasing use of pesticides, many environmental impacts are caused, including soil, surface water bodies and groundwater contamination and toxicity to non-target organisms. In this regard, some alternatives have emerged to mitigate the adverse effects caused by pesticides and address the aforementioned environmental issues. Among these, the use of biochar - a carbonaceous material produced by pyrolysis - has the potential for sorption and has been studied as an alternative for remediating contaminated areas. Since this is a relatively new topic, studies that analyze the interaction of biochar with soil and its influence on the physical, chemical, and biological properties of this matrix are still scarce. In this context, the project aims to analyze the interaction between soil microbiota and biochar through gene expression analysis. To achieve this, two treatments (soil and soil with 3% biochar) will be prepared. Total DNA from the community will be extracted from each soil sample in triplicate using the MoBio PowerSoil DNA Isolation Kit, followed by DNA purification. Bacterial marker sequencing will be performed using the Illumina platform and data analysis will be carried out using the Cineca system. As a result, the soil bacterial community will be characterized, and the effects of biochar application will be assessed. This approach will help facilitate discussions on the use of biochar in soil remediation and whether it has any adverse effects on the microbiota and, consequently, on ecosystem services. (AU)

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