Molecular Biological Tool (MBT)


Definition - What does Molecular Biological Tool (MBT) mean?

A molecular biological tool (MBT) is a collective term for a group of laboratory analysis tools and techniques used to assess biodegradation at contaminated sites. These tools help provide several key pieces of information, including:

  • The types of contaminant-degrading microorganisms
  • The microbial population on site (total bacterial count)
  • The types of biodegradation processes present

Molecular biological tools are essential for the remediation of contaminated environments and engineered systems.

Corrosionpedia explains Molecular Biological Tool (MBT)

Several types of molecular biological tool (MBTs) are available, including:

  • Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) – qPCR identifies and quantifies specific microorganisms using DNA-based techniques. The results from this MBT are used to determine the appropriate remedy selection and remedy design for a particular site.
  • Stable isotope probing (SIP) – SIP is used to determine whether biodegradation of the contaminant under consideration is occurring at the site. This is achieved by tracking the levels of a 13C labeled contaminant incorporated into microbial biomass and dissolved inorganic carbon. If biodegradation occurs, then 13C will be detected in the end products of biodegradation.
  • Compound specific isotope analysis (CSIA) – CSIA is used to provide direct evidence of ongoing contaminant degradation. This MBT works by measuring the ratio of stable isotopes (e.g., 13C/12C, 2H/1H) present in the contaminant under consideration.
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