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Nitrogen Fixers and Bioremediation


Creation of the Collection of Microorganisms, Isolated from Different Soil-Climatic Zones of the Caucasus, Possesing of High Nitrogen-fixing and Detoxificational Activities

Tech Area / Field

  • BIO-CHM/Biochemistry/Biotechnology
  • BIO-REM/Bioremediation/Biotechnology
  • BIO-MIB/Microbiology/Biotechnology
  • ENV-RED/Remediation and Decontamination/Environment
  • AGR-OTH/Other/Agriculture

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
Durmishidze Institute of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Georgia, Tbilisi


  • Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas / Departamento de Microbiologia del Suelo y Sistemas Simbioticos, Spain, Granada\nUniversity of Minnesota / Department of Soil, Water, and Climate, USA, MN, St Paul\nUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison / Department of Agronomy, USA, WI, Madison

Project summary

The key problem of mankind is the environmental contamination with toxic compounds of different chemical nature and mineral nitrogen fertilizers.
One of the real ways out of this situation is enlarging the scale of biological nitrogen fixation by microorganisms, successfully accomplishing bioremediation of the environment (Muratova A. The oil-oxidizing capability of Azospirillum Spp. and its application in phytoremediation. Seventh International FZK/TNO Conference on Contaminated Soil. 18-22 sept. 2000 CCL Leipzig, Germany. Conference proceedings v.1. 1218-1219).
Bioremediation by nitrogen-fixing microorganisms gives double profit - the bound nitrogen is accumulated in soil and polluted soil reduction proceeds without damaging the ecological balance (Siciliano S.D., Germida J.J. Mechanisms of phytoremediation: biochemical and ecological interactions between plants and bacteria. Environ.Rev. 1998. 6. 65-79).
Most regions worldwide have been studied precisely and characterized due to the distribution of nitrogen-fixing microorganisms. The Caucasian region is an exception, wheareas the Caucasus and in the first instance Georgia are distinguished by the persity of soil-climatic zones and join the regions in the world with the unique biopersity. (Nakhutsrishvili G. The vegetation of Georgia (Caucasus). Braun-Blanqueta. vol. 15. 1999. 3-25).
Goal of the presented project:
1. Isolation of nitrogen-fixing cultures of microorganisms from different soil-climatic regions of the Caucasus with the aim to create a collection and reveal their detoxificational potential.
2. Selection of highly effective strains for raising of crop yields and for bioremediation of soils.
For more than 25 years, molecular mechanisms of nitrogen fixation and assimilation have been investigated at the S.Durmishidze Institute of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Georgian Academy of Sciences. In parallel to the study of physiological and biochemical characteristics of nitrogen-fixing microorganisms, the works are carried out for creation of biological fertilizers. About 150 scientific research works and monographs are devoted to the point (the list of selected publications is enclosed) among which the following should be mentioned:
Nutsubidze N.N. Assimilation of nitrogen by vine. “Metsniereba”. 1974.(monograph). (in Russian).
Durmishidze S.V., Nutsubidze N.N. – Absorption and transformation of nitrogen dioxide by higher plants. Dokl. Acad. Nauk. SSSR 1976. 227. N1. 232-235. (in Russian).
Nutsubidze N.N., Vakhania N.A. – Correlation of the nitrogen-fixing system with nitratreductase activity in kidney bean nodules during vegetation. Physiology and Biochemistry of Cultural Plants. 1981. 13. N2. 158-163 (in Russian).
Basilashvili L.A., Nutsubidze N.N. – Distribution of Azospirillum in some Georgian soils. Bulletin of the Academy of Sciences of the Georgian SSR 1984. 114. N3. 617-620.
Basilashvili L.A., Redkina T.V., Nutsubidze N.N. – The study of Azospirillum Brasilence strains isolated from soils in Georgia. Bulletin of the Georgian Academy of Sciences. 1993. 148. N2. 265-268.
Sadunishvili T., Nutsubidze N., Kvesitadze G. Effect of methionine sulfoximine on nitrogen metabolism and externally supplied ammonium assimilation in kidney bean. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety. 1996. 34. 70-75.
Pataraia D., Basilashvili L., Bagalishvili M., Kikvidze M., Betsiashvili M., Nutsubidze N. – Influence of nodule bacteria and different microorganisms on soybean growth. Bulletin of the Georgian Academy of Sciences. 1999. 160. N2. 334-336.
Gogoberidze M., Zaalishvili G., Khatisashvili G., Ugrechelidze D., Gordeziani M., Kvesitadze G. Bioremediation – contemporary strategy of xenobiotics detoxification. Seventh International FZK/TNO Conference on Contaminated Soil. 18-22 sept. 2000 CCL Leipzig, Germany. Conference proceedings v.1. 396-401.
Basilashvili L., Kikvidze M., Bagalishvili M., Nutsubidze N. – Effect of Azospirillum on the growth and supply with nitrogen of Zea mays. Bulletin of the Georgian Academy of Sciences. 2001. 163. N1. 167-170.
For the last three decades a collection of actinomycetes (more than 500 strains) isolated from different soil-climatic zones of Georgia has been created at the Durmishidze Institute of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, as well as tens of strains of freely populated and associative nitrogen fixers.
Investigations envisaged in the presented project proposal will allow to isolate highly effective strains of nitrogen fixers contributing to bioremediation of the polluted soils.
Selectively chosen nitrogen-fixing cultures will be studied in the laboratory and under field conditions and used for reduction of soils. The results of the present project will serve the bases for recommendations that will be proposed to ISTC, the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Georgia, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food products of Georgia, the corresponding Committee of the Parliament of Georgia and other interested organizations.
Regarding the ISTC goal and objectives 52.6% “weapon” scientists will be employed in the project.
Foreign collaborator’s role in the project is to jointly draft the work programme; participate in discussion of experimental data; organization of workshops and preparation of joint publications.
For realization of the goal the following tasks will be executed:
1. Isolation of nitrogen-fixing microorganisms (freely populated, associative and symbiotic) from different soil-climatic zones of the Caucasus, on the base of these cultures creation of a collection.
2. Study of morphological, physiological and biochemical characteristics of microorganisms of the collection. Selection of highly active strains.
3. Comparison of the current data of the executed work with the characteristics of microorganisms isolated from the analogous soil-climatic zones of the planet.
4. Study of bioremediational potential of nitrogen fixers’ highly active strains.
5. Creation of fertilizers for exploitation in agriculture.
Problem solving technical approach implies isolation and selection of highly active, industrially valuable nitrogen-fixing microorganisms (creation of a collection) for creation of new biological fertilizers and also for bioremediation of polluted soils.
For isolation of nitrogen fixers the method of dilution is suggested. Bacteria will be identified due to the Guide of Bergy and Taranda and other discriptions and the phase-contrast microscopy.
The nitrogen-fixing potential of microbes will be estimated by the method of acetylene and for selection of highly active microorganisms either gas-chromatographic and mass-spechtrophotometric analyses will be applied.
The nitrogen fixers’ ability to degrade oil-products will be estimated by methods of spectral analysis, thin-layer and gas-liquid chromatography.
For creation of biological fertilizers, the conditions providing the cost effectiveness of fertilizers and their transportation expenses will be regarded.
Selection of microorganisms possessing high detoxificational potential will be carried out due to methods exploited for cultivation of museum and isolated from soil strains on agar nutrient area with the content of the toxic compounds.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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