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Environmental Microbiology :
Environmental Microbiology:

Microbiology Research Division is an established integrated facility of Bioresource Research Center (BRC) developed in January 2009 for studying the role of microbes in the environment and in the health. Many aspects of daily life are dependent upon the activities of the microorganisms from the preparation of food and drink to the production of antibiotics, the natural breakdown of decaying material and sewage treatment. Equally they can also be a nuisance to man kind causing spoilage of food and of course, disease. Indeed, the history of man kind is inextricably dominated by a close interaction with the microbial world. However, the most effective manifestation of the activities of microorganisms is the range of diseases which they may give rise to insusceptible hosts.

Aims and Objective: 

Microbiology Research Division addressed on water-related concerns. They works with government agencies, academic institutions, and other partners to study the quality of national, state, and local water resources. They provide water-quality data on the microorganisms of public-health significance. Surface water, ground water, and sediments are analyzed for these microorganisms. Methods to detect these organisms are often costly and time consuming, thus, it is impractical to monitor directly for pathogens by traditional methods. Indicator organisms are used to assess the microbiological quality of water and provide information on the possible presence of pathogens. Indicator organisms are microorganisms that are associated with the intestinal tract of animals and are consistently present in fecal waste. They occur in greater numbers than the associated pathogens of interest, and their presence in water indicates fecal contamination of the water.
Microbiology Research Division is also addressed fundamental questions in ecological interactions among the gastrointestinal microbiota and relationship of fecal bacteria with wildlife animals. These are inhabited by complex and diverse microbial communities which played key role in the nutrition of the host. These microbes exist in symbiotic associations with animals and assist in the digestion of feedstuffs and help to protect the animal from infections, and some microbes even synthesize and provide essential nutrients to their animal host. Therefore, understanding the complex symbiotic relationships between gastrointestinal microbes and their animal hosts can lead to the development of practices to improve animal performance and promote animal health. These bacteria, representing most bacterial groups have been found in faeces. These include Acidaminococcus, Bacteroides, Bifidobacterium, Clostridium, Coprococcus, Enterobacter, Enterococcus, Escherichia, Eubacterium, Fusobacterium, Klebsiella, Lactobacillus, Megamonas, Megasphaera, Peptostreptococcus, Proteus, Ruminococcus, and Veillonella.  Along with it emphasis is also being laid upon the complete haemopoietic analysis of the host with the help of highly automated and sophisticated blood test system of Reflotron Plus and microscopes which help us to identify relationships between the gastrointestinal microbiota and health state of these endangered animals.


Research facilities available:

Microbiology Research Division is equipped with an anaerobic chamber for research on microbial communities and focused specifically on the identification of microorganisms using Catalase, Coagulase, Indol, Methyl Red, Triple Sugar Iron agar (TSI), Decarboxylase, motility, Phenyl Red Carbohydrate and Malonate tests. The successful development and application of this system promised to provide the opportunity to establish the link among the gastrointestinal microbes and host in their natural environment with their genetic potential and in-situ activities.
Besides these the laboratory also focused on the tests for Total Coliform, E.coli, Fecal Coliform, Fecal Streptococci and Heterotrophic Plate Count.
A variety of equipment including, drying ovens, pH meters, and a range of analytical balances is available. The other equipment available in the lab is,

    • Biological Safety Cabinet for routine microbial work requiring aseptic technique
    • Autoclave for sterilization of media, equipment and microbial waste
    • Large incubator-shaker
    • High Speed Multi-Rotor Centrifuge for harvesting cells and sample separation
    • Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), Thermal Cyclers for isolating and amplifying microbial DNA
    • Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis System to separate nucleic acids including DNA and RNA
    • Gel Documentation System for capturing electrophoresis images
    • UV/visible spectrophotometer for the quantification of protein, nucleic acids, cell density, and numerous other compounds
    •  Microscopes
    • Reflatron Plus
    • Portable water lab

        Ongoing Projects

        1. Determination of antimicrobial activity of various plants species collected in National Parks Project AJK against pathogenic bacterial and fungal strains.

        Complete Research Projects

        1. Prevalence of microflroa in different bear species distributed in different regions of Pakistan.
        2. Evaluation of microbial water quality indicators in the reservoirs of Islamabad.

        Future perspective
        The station is committed to work for the protection of the environment and to provide the baseline for the development of new processes for the degradation of synthetic polymer, xenobiotics and aromatic compounds on the following lines

          • Aerobic and anaerobic degradation of aromatic hydrocarbons using in-situ bioreactors
          • Biodegradation of aromatic compounds of oil effluents using microbial consortia



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