Work Packages

Work Package 1: Management

Objectives:The administrative, financial and research management of the project

Brief Description:This work package will take all actions necessary to guarantee the smooth operation of the project. Such actions will include a) communication with the external advisory board (EAB); b) recruitment of a PhD candidate; c) intermediate and final reporting on research progress; d) organization of project meetings. 


Work Package 2: Dissemination, outreach and results exploitation

Objectives:1) to disseminate the results of the project to the general public and the scientific community, 2) to maximize the exploitation potential of the results of the project through effective communication with target groups that could exploit or being benefited by the findings of the project, 3) to develop and implement an IPR strategic plan for the maximum exploitation of the potential products developed by the project.

Brief Description:This work package will include all activities aiming a) to disseminate the findings of the project to the society and the scientific community (e.g. launch of a website, industrial seminars, scientific publications); b) to promote communication with the wider public and increase public awareness on science and research which could reach to commercialization (e.g. social media accounts, podcasts, magazine articles, participation in open-day/ science festival activities), c) to establish an IPR strategic planfor the future exploitation regarding products (e.g.  a novel nitrification inhibitor) during the course of NITRIC.


Work Package 3: In vitro assessment of the inhibition of ethoxyquin anits derivatives on nitrifiers

Objectives: To explore the inhibitory mechanism, the spectrum of activity, and the inhibition threshold levels of EQ and its oxidative derivatives, QI and EQNL, on ammonia-oxidizers.

Brief Description:In vitro assays with representative terrestrial strains of AOB (Nitrosomonas europaea and Nitrosospira multiformis), AOA (Nitrosotalea devannatera and Nitrosocosmicus franklandus, and NOB (Nitrobacter sp. ΝΗΒΙ) will be conducted to explore the inhibitory mechanism of EQ, QI and ΕQNL, in comparison with known nitrification inhibitors (nitrapyrin, DCD). All chemicals will be tested in a broad range of concentrations to establish inhibition thresholds levels (ΕC50 values). The effect of EQ, QI and EQNL on ΑΟΑ/ΑΟΒ and ΝΟΒ will be investigated via monitoring the growth (amoA and nxrB genes abundance) and activity (nitrite/nitrate production, amoA and nxrB transcripts abundance) of the above strains in liquid batch cultures. The dissipation of EQ and its derivatives in the liquid cultures will be also followed.


Work Package 4:Assessment of the inhibitory effects of ethoxyquin and its derivatives on nitrifying microorganisms and N cycling in soil

Objectives:To explore the impact of EQ, QI, and EQNL on the abundance, functional activity, and diversity of (i) ammonia-oxidizers; (ii) interrelated microbial groups modulating downstream processes in N cycling (ΝΟΒ and denitrifying bacteria), in soil microcosms, and in comparison, with selected nitrification inhibitors (nitrapyrin, DCD).

Brief Description: A comparative study of the impact of EQ, QI, and EQNL vs. already established nitrification inhibitors (nitrapyrin, DCD) will be conducted in soil microcosms. Assays will be performed under a range of conditions that found to affect AOA and AOB (pH, and ΝΗ4+ amendment) in soil or the performance of nitrification inhibitors in agricultural soils (temperature). Parallel measurement of the dissipation and metabolism of EQ will enable evaluation of the level and duration of the exposure and will facilitate interpretation of the results (i.e. correlation between effects and formation of transformation products).