Aggregation and Degradation of Dispersants and Oil by Microbial Exopolymers (ADDOMEx)
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Overview Dr. Antonietta Quigg at Texas A&M University at Galveston was awarded an RFP-IV grant at $7,245,432.00 to lead the GoMRI Aggregation and Degradation of Dispersants and Oil by Microbial Exopolymers (ADDOMEx) Consortium which consisted of 6 collaborative institutions and 120 research team members (including students). The goals of ADDOMEx were to understand how the presence of hydrocarbons triggers production of exopolymeric substances or extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) that may protect organisms from the oil, emulsify the oil, or both, therefore altering its degradation, as well as to develop a process-based understanding of the role that EPS, micro-gels, and transparent exopolymer particles (TEP) play in the fate of oil (e.g., degradation, dispersion, or sedimentation) and, in addition, how the dispersant Corexit affects these processes.OutreachOver its award period (3 years, plus a 12-month no-cost extension), ADDOMEx organized approximately 86 outreach activities or products, including: Research HighlightsAs of January 31, 2019, ADDOMEx research, which entailed 3 research cruises/expeditions, resulted in 25 peer-reviewed publications, more than 85 scientific presentations and 74 datasets being submitted to the GoMRI Information and Data Cooperative (GRIIDC), which are/will be available to the public. ADDOMEx engaged 14 Masters and PhD students over its award period. Significant outcomes of ADDOMEx research according to GoMRI Research Theme are highlighted below. ADDOMEx set out to test the following central hypothesis: Microbes (bacteria, phytoplankton) respond to oil and dispersant (Corexit), .........