Paper mill genome project
About Andrea Urso
Andrea Urso graduated in Chemistry in Pisa, Italy, and achieved the Genetics and Genomics Certificate at Stanford. After starting to work in an enamel producing factory, he moved into the tissue paper sector. He now works at Cartiere Carrara, one of the European leaders in tissue paper production, with 9 paper mills, 50 converting lines, serving more than 47 countries around the world. Andrea has been responsible for quality control, as well as research and development, for more than 25 years.
Microbiota in paper mill production origins from three main sources, including raw material, water, and the environment. However, culture-based identification of bacterial species may be misleading due to the difficulty in reproducing the paper mill environment. A practical solution to this problem is bacterial strain identification through microbial DNA sequencing – modern sequencing technologies makes this solution affordable, so that even non-biotech societies can benefit from this technology. We used PCR, nanopore sequencing, the EPI2ME platform, and hierarchical cluster analysis in R to amplify, identify, and organize the microbiota found in different locations. The main results obtained are experimental methods for raw material comparison, product hygiene and safety assessment, biocide consumption optimization / targeting, ageing of product, and chemical vs biological problems resolution.