MEB Lecture Series1 – University of Copenhagen

Copenhagen Microbiology Center > MEB Lecture Series1

MEB Lecture Series1

Tuesday 3 November 2015 at 13.00- approx. 14.30


Room R322-323

Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences (PLEN)

Thorvaldsensvej 40, 3rd Floor


Associate Professor Kjeld Ingvorsen

Section for Microbiology, Bioscience

Aarhus University


Biodegradation of p-nitrophenol and characterization of the microbial community in the Breakwater 42 waste dump


The renowned Breakwater 42 waste dump was established in 1953 at Harboøre Tange. Currently it contains approximately 100 different toxic chemicals including large amounts of organo-phosphorous pesticides such as parathions.  A planned remediation project aims to remove the remaining 250 tons of pollution using a combination of alkaline hydrolysis and bioremediation. The lecture will report major findings from a microbiological research project carried out at the Breakwater 42 waste site in collaboration with Cheminova A/S and Central Denmark Region.  Pollutant degrading microorganisms were isolated form the Breakwater 42 site and Cheminova’s waste water treatment plant and studied in the laboratory. The microbial community before and after alkaline hydrolysis (12 months at pH > 12) was analyzed using clone libraries constructed from PCR-amplified 16S rRNA genes and 27 bacterial strains were isolated in pure culture from samples obtained within the Breakwater 42 waste site. Many of these isolates were related to known xenobiotic degraders and 11 strains had survived 12 months of incubation at pH 12.7-13.


Further reading:

  • Nielsen, M B, K U Kjeldsen and K Ingvorsen (2011). Description of Citricoccus nitrophenolicus sp. Nov., a para-nitrophenol degrading actinobacterium isolated from a wastewater treatment plant and emended description og the genus Citricoccus Altenburger et al. 2002.  Antonie van Leeuwenhoek 99:489-499.
  • Nielsen, M B and K. Ingvorsen (2013).  Biodegradation of para-nitrophenol by Citricoccus nitrophenolicus strain PNP1T at high pH. Biodegradation 24: 79-87.
  • Nielsen, M B, K U Kjeldsen, M. A. Lever and K Ingvorsen (2014). Survival of prokaryotes in a polluted waste dump during remediation by alkaline hydrolysis. Ecotoxicology 23: 404-418.



Kjeld Ingvorsen is Associate professor, PhD, at Section for Microbiology, at Aarhus University. Research associate at Department of Bacteriology, University of Madison, Wisconsin, from 1979-1980. Graduated as PhD in microbiology from Aarhus University in 1984 with scholarship from EAWAG/ETH, Zürich, Switzerland. Research scientist and later group manager at Novo (now Novozymes A/S) from 1984-1992. Associate professor at Section for Microbiology, Bioscience AU since 1992. Major current research interests include: physiology/enzymology of halophilic and cellulolytic microorganisms. Anaerobic microbial processes. Fermentation technology and industrial applications of enzymes. Member of the Editorial Board for Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology.


1The Lecture Series is an activity of Section of Microbial Ecology and Biotechnology (MEB) – sponsored in part by Copenhagen Microbiology Center (CMC).


Everybody is welcome

Jan Sørensen

Section of Microbial Ecology and Biotechnology, PLEN

Head of CMC