In this study, we propose to use state-of-the-art methodology to obtain heavy metal hyperaccumulating organisms designed primarily for metal related bioremediation and bioextraction actions. Until now, attempts have been made to improve the biosorption and accumulation abilities of yeast cells by expressing various combinations of heterologous oligopeptides onto the surface of yeast cells using the arming technology (cell surface engineering). The results were good, but not spectacular, since the increase of heavy metal binding is limited to the cell surface, a part of the cell which is already recognized for its metal-absorptive capabilities. Through targeting metal-binding entities to the inner face of the plasma membrane we would still take advantage of the biosorptive capacity of the yeast cell wall, but in addition, we expect that the metal ions penetrating the cell would be entrapped by the heterologous metal binding proteins/oligopeptides targeted to the inner face of the plasma membrane.

Our main objectives are:
 -1)To engineer yeast based systems designed to hyperaccumulate heavy metals, with potential utilization for heavy metal or bioextraction;
 -2) The extrapolation of yeast-based systems designed and characterized in 1) to plants with potential use in phytoremediation or phytoextraction.

Additionally, we expect that the end products of the Romanian Norwegian joint research will further produce notable results in:
 -a)Selection of plants with metal accumulation restricted to targeted organs;
 -b)Selection of hyperaccumulator yeast with potential as food supplements;
 -c)Selection of hyperaccumulators as paramagnetism traps.

University of Bucharest
Chemistry Faculty
Panduri Building
Address: Sos. Panduri nr. 90 - 92, sector 5, Bucharest

Proiect coordinator:
Conf. Dr. Ileana Cornelia Farcasanu
Head of Applied Organic Chemistry Reasearch Center
Phone: +4 021.315.92.49
E-mail: ileana.farcasanu@chimie.unibuc.ro