GUELPH, ONTARIO, March 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ – The U.S. Patent and Trade Office issued Microbial Reduction of Vinyl Chloride (US Patent 8,647, 824 B2) on February 11, 2014, to Stanford University for the use of the vinyl chloride reductase (vcrA) gene to quantify microorganisms critical in chlorinated solvent bioremediation.
SiREM through an exclusive agreement with Stanford University, is the only licensed provider of vcrA gene testing. Commercial testing for this gene is offered under the trade name Gene-Trac® VC. Using this test, bioremediation practitioners can analyze soil and groundwater for the presence of microorganisms containing the vcrA gene. The patent follows from U.S. patent, No. 8,063,192 (issued November 22, 2011) and covers the detection of vcrA sequences in environmental samples using standard molecular biological methods.
Quantifying the vcrA gene can differentiate whether vinyl chloride will accumulate, or be detoxified, in the bioremediation of tetrachloroethene (PCE) and trichloroethene (TCE) found in a groundwater source. Both PCE and TCE are common groundwater contaminants widely used as dry cleaning solvents and degreasing agents. The bioremediation of either contaminant can produce breakdown products, including carcinogenic vinyl chloride, which requires microorganisms that produce vinyl chloride reductase enzymes to complete the site cleanup process.
The vcrA gene also is used to track the growth and effectiveness of SiREM’s vcrA containing KB-1® culture, which has been applied at hundreds of bioremediation sites across North America, Europe, and Asia to enhance the biodegradation of chlorinated solvents. SiREM also maintains a treatability laboratory equipped to conduct studies that evaluate a variety of groundwater and soil treatment technologies. The company holds multiple licenses with leading academic institutions and industry partners that allow it to provide clients unique, science-based products and services to address remediation challenges.