Dr David Dowling

PhD in  Microbiology [bacterial genetics] 
Head of School of Science

BA (Mod) in Natural Science (1980) specialising in Microbiology from the University of Dublin, Trinity College

e: david.dowling@itcarlow.ie t: 059 9175507

 

Dr Dowling is a founding member of the EnviroCore research group within IT Carlow. His research group has successfully competed for funding under SFI Tida, TSR Strand III, DAFF stimulus 2 and EU programmes and he has experience in co-ordinating EU projects. He is currently working on the development of the rhizosphere as a bioreactor for the degradation of pollutants and on the use of “Agribiotics‟ where plant associated bacteria are used to enhance the growth of bio-energy crops.

  • Postdoctoral scientist in Plant-microbe interactions at the Max Planck Institute Cologne, Germany 1984-85
  • Research Scientist and lecturer University of Geneva, Switzerland (1986-88)
  • EMBO  Research Fellow German Federal Institute of Biotechnology , Braunschweig Germany. (1989-1990)
  • Senior scientist and research manager, Department of Microbiology, University College Cork (1990-95)
 
  • Research Interests
  • Publications
  • Research Supervision

Agribiotics Research

The aim of this research is to combine endophytic bacteria (non-pathogenic bacteria that occur naturally in plants) and/or rhizospheric bacteria (bacteria that live on or near the root surface)  with bio-energy plants to develop a range of specific, improved phytoremediation and phytoprotection systems as well as enhanced bio-energy crop growth rates.
 
 

Bioremediation of Waste

Recent areas of interest are investigations into microorganisms associated with plants found in constructed wetlands their metabolic and heavy metal resistant potential and their role in the ability of such constructed wetlands to successfully deal with a range of organic and metal contaminated waste-waters. This project also investigates the removal of indicator micro-organisms in constructed wetland in use in Ireland. Research also focuses on the microbiology of bio-energy crops; pathogen fate and bioremediation enhancement and is carried out in association with Teagasc Oak Park.
 

Biodegradation of chlorinated aromatics

Bacterial glutathione S-transferases and degradation of environmental pollutants.
 
This work focuses on the identification of novel bacterial glutathione S-transferases in the environment using molecular biological and bioinformatic techniques. It also includes the biodegradation of PCBs and the development of biosensors for monitoring the bioavailability of these pollutants in soil.
 

Current Research Projects

 
Bacterial glutathione S-transferases and degradation of environmental pollutants. 
This work focuses on the identification of novel bacterial glutathione S-transferases in the environment using molecular biological and bioinformatic techniques.
 
Integrated constructed wetlands and pathogen removal
Integrated constructed wetlands are artifical-made systems that can be designed for the treatment of polluted water.  This project investigates the removal of indicator micro-organisms in constructed wetland in use in Ireland.
 
Microbiology of bio-energy crops
The project focuses on the microbiology of bio-energy crops; pathogen fate and bioremediation enhancement and is carried outin association with Teagasc Oak Park.
 

Publications

 
•  Rice O, Browne P, Chabbra, S., Miller,SH, Burke J, Dowling ,DN , Morrissey , JP, and O’Gara, F (2008)   Meeting the Challenges of sustainable agriculture. T-Research 3: 1. 26-28
 
•  Ryan,RP., Germaine, K., Franks, A., Ryan, DJ.,and Dowling,DN. (2008)  Bacterial endophytes: recent developments and applications. FEMS Microbiol, Lett.  278:1-9
 
•  Dowling, DN and Doty, S (2009) Improving Phytoremediation through Biotechnology. Current Opinion in Biotechnology 20 : 1-3.
 
•  Germaine, K., Keogh, E., Ryan, D and Dowling, DN (2009) Bacterial endophyte-mediated naphthalene phytoprotection and phytoremediation FEMS Microbiol, Lett.  296: 226-234
 
• Brennan, E., McGuinness, M and Dowling, DN (2009) Bioinformatic analysis and in vitro site-directed mutagenesis of conserved amino acids in BphKLB400, a specific bacterial glutathione transferase.  International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation (in Press)  [doi:10.1016/j.ibiod.2009.03.008]
 
• McGuinness, M and Dowling, D. (2009) Plant-Associated Bacterial Degradation of Toxic Organic Compounds in Soil.   Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6, 2226-2247; doi:10.3390/ijerph6082226
 
• Coffey,L.,  Clarke, A., Duggan, P., Tambling, K., Horgan, S., Dowling,D.  and O’Reilly, C. (2009)  Isolation of identical nitrilase genes from multiple bacterial strains and real-time PCR detection of the genes from soils provides evidence of horizontal gene transfer. Archives in Microbiology  (in press)
 
• Browne P, Rice O, Miller,SH, Burke J, Dowling ,DN , Morrissey , JP, and O’Gara, F (2009) Superior inorganic phosphate solubilization is linked to phylogeny within the Pseudomonas fluorescens complex. Applied Soil Ecology (in press) . doi:10.1016/j.apsoil.2009.06.010