Developing Methods to Remove Toxic Chlorite Ions from the Environment

Faculty Sponsor

Thomas Goyne


Arts and Sciences



Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 4-28-2022


The goal of this research project is to develop an inexpensive method to detoxify the chlorite ion (ClO2-), a major pollutant from many industrial processes. It is found in both contaminated soil and in contaminated groundwater. Recently, scientists have found many species of bacteria that express an enzyme called chlorite dismutase, which breaks down the chlorite ion into O2 gas and Cl- ions, neither of which are toxic. Our approach is to clone the gene for a His-tagged variant of the chlorite dismutase enzyme from the bacterium Nitrospira defluvii (chosen because the bacterium was hardy in a wide array of environmental conditions and temperatures) onto a plasmid. This plasmid will be optimized for E. Coli expression using Genscript services and will be used to transform E. Coli. After transforming E. Coli with this plasmid, chlorite dismutase will be expressed, the cells will be lysed, and the chlorite dismutase enzyme will be purified using a nickel chelate column. The amount of enzyme recovered will be determined using a Bradford essay, and the enzyme will be characterized using electrophoresis and a suitable enzyme assay. This research will provide more information about the chlorite dismutase enzyme that will hopefully allow industries to manage their waste better and potentially improve the treatment of water and soil.

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