Workshop SM4.

The miracle of molecular diagnostic tools (MBT) for Bioremediation

From site characterisation through remedy selection, (MBTs) provide an accurate assessment of microbial communities and data to make sound site remediation decisions.

Sunday, 8 September, 2019

Instructor: Dora Taggart


Molecular biological tools (MBTs) are a collection of established laboratory analyses the provide site managers and regulators with actionable data for successful, cost-effective cleanup.  Throughout the course, case studies from chlorinated- and petroleum-impacted sites will be used to provide attendees with a practical understanding of common MBTs including: quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and QuantArray, compound specific isotope analysis (CSIA), stable isotope probing (SIP), next generation sequencing (NGS), and In Situ Microcosms (ISMs).  These real-world examples discuss selecting sample locations, interpreting MBT results, and how MBTs complement traditional lines of evidence to support site management and regulatory decisions.  During the final segment of the course, attendees will participate in interactive case studies where they will review site data, select applicable MBTs, and discuss how the results would influence site activities and reduce overall cost to closure.

Who should attend?

Environmental consultants, site owners, and environmental regulators involved with most areas of environmental remediation from site characterization through remedy selection and performance monitoring to site closure will benefit from this course.

Detailed Course Outline & Schedule 

Time Topic Presenter



  • Introductions
  • What attendees wish to gain from the workshop
  • What are MBTs and why do we need them?
  • Biodegradation review
Dora Taggart


Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR) and QuantArray

  • Key concepts
  • Chlorinated solvent case study
  • MI Database
  • Petroleum hydrocarbon case study
  • Sampling considerations
Dora Taggart


Compound Specific Isotope Analysis (CSIA)

  • CSIA introduction and nomenclature review
  • Using CSIA to prove degradation
  • Using CSIA to delineate contaminant sources
Dora Taggart


Morning tea


Stable Isotope Probing (SIP)

  • SIP introduction and differences with CSIA
  • Using SIP to prove biodegradation
  • Petroleum hydrocarbon case study
 Dora Taggart


Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) and Metagenomics

  • Microbial community profiles
  • When to consider NGS
Dora Taggart


In Situ Microcosms (ISMs)

  • ISMs to screen remediation alternatives
  • ISM study at chlorinated solvent site
Dora Taggart


Interactive Case Studies

  • Attendees form groups
  • Review site data and select appropriate MBT
Dora Taggart