Soil microbial community responses to additions of organic carbon substrates and heavy metals (Pb and Cr).
ABSTRACT: Microcosm experiments were conducted with soils contaminated with heavy metals (Pb and Cr) and aromatic hydrocarbons to determine the effects of each upon microbial community structure and function. Organic substrates were added as a driving force for change in the microbial community. Glucose represented an energy source used by a broad variety of bacteria, whereas fewer soil species were expected to use xylene. The metal amendments were chosen to inhibit the acute rate of organic mineralization by either 50% or 90%, and lower mineralization rates persisted over the entire 31-day incubation period. Significant biomass increases were abolished when metals were added in addition to organic carbon. The addition of organic carbon alone had the most significant impact on community composition and led to the proliferation of a few dominant phylotypes, as detected by PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis of bacterial 16S rRNA genes. However, the community-wide effects of heavy metal addition differed between the two carbon sources. For glucose, either Pb or Cr produced large changes and replacement with new phylotypes. In contrast, many phylotypes selected by xylene treatment were retained when either metal was added. Members of the Actinomycetales were very prevalent in microcosms with xylene and Cr(VI); gene copy numbers of biphenyl dioxygenase and phenol hydroxylase (but not other oxygenases) were elevated in these microcosms, as determined by real-time PCR. Much lower metal concentrations were needed to inhibit the catabolism of xylene than of glucose. Cr(VI) appeared to be reduced during the 31-day incubations, but in the case of glucose there was substantial microbial activity when much of the Cr(VI) remained. In the case of xylene, this was less clear.
Project description:Chromium (VI) is toxic to microorganisms and can inhibit the biodegradation of organic pollutants in contaminated soils. We used microcosms amended with either glucose or protein (to drive bacterial community change) and Fe(III) (to stimulate iron-reducing bacteria) to study the effect of various concentrations of Cr(VI) on anaerobic bacterial communities. Microcosms were destructively sampled based on microbial activity (measured as evolution of CO2) and analyzed for the following: (i) dominant bacterial community by PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) of the 16S rRNA gene; (ii) culturable Cr-resistant bacteria; and (iii) enrichment of iron-reducing bacteria of the Geobacteraceae family by real-time PCR. The addition of organic C stimulated the activities of anaerobic communities. Cr(VI) amendment resulted in lower rates of CO2 production in glucose microcosms and a slow mineralization phase in protein-amended microcosms. Glucose and protein amendments selected for different bacterial communities. This selection was modified by the addition of Cr(VI), since some DGGE bands were intensified and new bands appeared in Cr(VI)-amended microcosms. A second dose of Cr(VI), added after the onset of activity, had a strong inhibitory effect when higher levels of Cr were added, indicating that the developing Cr-resistant communities had a relatively low tolerance threshold. Most of the isolated Cr-resistant bacteria were closely related to previously studied Cr-resistant anaerobes, such as Pantoea, Pseudomonas, and Enterobacter species. Geobacteraceae were not enriched during the incubation. The studied Cr(VI)-contaminated soil contained a viable anaerobic bacterial community; however, Cr(VI) altered its composition, which could affect the soil biodegradation potential.
Project description:Chromium is often found as a cocontaminant at sites polluted with organic compounds. For nitrate-respiring microbes, Cr(VI) may be not only directly toxic but may also specifically interfere with N reduction. In soil microcosms amended with organic electron donors, Cr(VI), and nitrate, bacteria oxidized added carbon, but relatively low doses of Cr(VI) caused a lag and then lower rates of CO(2) accumulation. Cr(VI) strongly inhibited nitrate reduction; it occurred only after soluble Cr(VI) could not be detected. However, Cr(VI) additions did not eliminate Cr-sensitive populations; after a second dose of Cr(VI), bacterial activity was strongly inhibited. Differences in microbial community composition (assayed by PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis) driven by different organic substrates (glucose and protein) were smaller than when other electron acceptors had been used. However, the selection of bacterial phylotypes was modified by Cr(VI). Nine isolated clades of facultatively anaerobic Cr(VI)-resistant bacteria were closely related to cultivated members of the phylum Actinobacteria or Firmicutes. In Bacillus cereus GNCR-4, the nature of the electron donor (fermentable or nonfermentable) affected Cr(VI) resistance level and anaerobic nitrate metabolism. Our results indicate that carbon utilization and nitrate reduction in these soils were contingent upon the reduction of added Cr(VI). The amount of Cr(VI) required to inhibit nitrate reduction was 10-fold less than for aerobic catabolism of the same organic substrate. We speculate that the resistance level of a microbial process is directly related to the diversity of microbes capable of conducting it.
Project description:The results of empirical studies have revealed links between phytoplankton and bacterioplankton, such as the frequent correlation between chlorophyll a and bulk bacterial abundance and production. Nevertheless, little is known about possible links at the level of specific taxonomic groups. To investigate this issue, seawater microcosm experiments were performed in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea. Turbulence was used as a noninvasive means to induce phytoplankton blooms dominated by different algae. Microcosms exposed to turbulence became dominated by diatoms, while small phytoflagellates gained importance under still conditions. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) of 16S rRNA gene fragments showed that changes in phytoplankton community composition were followed by shifts in bacterioplankton community composition, both as changes in the presence or absence of distinct bacterial phylotypes and as differences in the relative abundance of ubiquitous phylotypes. Sequencing of DGGE bands showed that four Roseobacter phylotypes were present in all microcosms. The microcosms with a higher proportion of phytoflagellates were characterized by four phylotypes of the Bacteroidetes phylum: two affiliated with the family Cryomorphaceae and two with the family Flavobacteriaceae. Two other Flavobacteriaceae phylotypes were characteristic of the diatom-dominated microcosms, together with one Alphaproteobacteria phylotype (Roseobacter) and one Gammaproteobacteria phylotype (Methylophaga). Phylogenetic analyses of published Bacteroidetes 16S rRNA gene sequences confirmed that members of the Flavobacteriaceae are remarkably responsive to phytoplankton blooms, indicating these bacteria could be particularly important in the processing of organic matter during such events. Our data suggest that quantitative and qualitative differences in phytoplankton species composition may lead to pronounced differences in bacterioplankton species composition.
Project description:We report an anion exchange composite material based on a protonated amine-functionalized metal-organic framework, denoted Metal Organic Resin-1 (MOR-1), and alginic acid (HA). MOR-1-HA material shows an exceptional capability to rapidly and selectively sorb Cr(vi) under a variety of conditions and in the presence of several competitive ions. The selectivity of MOR-1-HA for Cr(vi) is shown to be the result of strong O3CrVI···NH2 interactions. The composite sorbent can be successfully utilized in an ion-exchange column, in contrast to pristine MOR-1 which forms fine suspensions in water passing through the column. Remarkably, an ion exchange column with only 1% wt MOR-1-HA and 99% wt sand (an inert and inexpensive material) is capable of reducing moderate and trace Cr(vi) concentrations to well below the acceptable safety limits for water. The relatively low cost of MOR-1-HA/sand column and its high regeneration capability and reusability make it particularly attractive for application in the remediation of Cr(vi)-bearing industrial waste.
Project description:BACKGROUND:A geothermal ecosystem located at Tantloi, India has been found to be an interesting habitat for microbes of diverse nature. However, the microbial diversity of this habitat is poorly explored. In this study, a detailed phylogenetic study has been carried out to understand the bacterial diversity of this habitat and to identify prospective metal reducers using culture independent approach. The bacterial diversity of the sediments, which contain undetectable levels of Cr(VI), was analysed with respect to chromium reduction and the strains highly resistant to and efficiently reducing chromium under aerobic conditions were isolated and characterized. RESULTS:16S rRNA gene sequence analysis of Tantloi hot spring microbial community revealed a significant bacterial diversity represented by at least ten taxonomic divisions of Bacteria with clear predominance of Thermus. Similar sequence analysis of rRNA gene library clones derived from bacterial consortia enriched from sediments in presence of Cr(VI) revealed the abundance of the family Bacillaceae. Under aerobic conditions at 65°C, the consortia reduced 1 mM of Cr(VI) completely within 24 h and 5 mM in 6 days. A complete reduction of 1 mM Cr(VI) has been shown by five of our isolates within 36 h. 16S rRNA gene sequences of all the isolates showed high degree of similarity (97-99%) to Bacillaceae with ten of them being affiliated to Anoxybacillus. Crude extract as well as the soluble fraction from isolates TSB-1 and TSB-9 readily reduced Cr(VI); TSB-1 showed higher chromium reductase activity. CONCLUSION:Most of the Tantloi Spring Bacterial (TSB) sequences analyzed in different taxonomic divisions could be related to representatives with known metabolic traits which indicated presence of organisms involved in redox processes of a variety of elements including iron, sulphur and chromium. Approximately 80% of the sequences obtained in this study represented novel phylotypes indicating the possibility of discovery of bacteria with biotechnologically important new biomolecules. Again, highly chromium-resistant and remarkably active Cr(VI)-reducing Anoxybacillus strains isolated in this study could serve as potential candidates for designing chromium bioremediation strategies at high temperatures and also at high chromium concentrations.
Project description:Although c-type cytochromes (c-Cyts) mediating metal reduction have been mainly investigated with in vitro purified proteins of dissimilatory metal reducing bacteria, the in vivo behavior of c-Cyts is still unclear given the difficulty in measuring the proteins of intact cells. Here, c-Cyts in living Shewanella putrefaciens 200 (SP200) was successfully quantified using diffuse-transmission UV/Vis spectroscopy due to the strong absorbance of hemes, and the in situ spectral kinetics of Cr(VI) reduction by c-Cyts were examined over time. The reduced product Cr(III) observed on the cell surface may play a role in inhibiting the Cr(VI) reduction and reducing the cell numbers with high concentrations (>200??M) of Cr(VI) evidenced by the 16S rRNA analysis. A brief kinetic model was established with two predominant reactions, redox transformation of c-Cyts and Cr(VI) reduction by reduced c-Cyts, but the fitting curves were not well-matched with c-Cyts data. The Cr(III)-induced inhibitory effect to the cellular function of redox transformation of c-Cyts was then added to the model, resulting in substantially improved the model fitting. This study provides a case of directly examining the reaction properties of outer-membrane enzyme during microbial metal reduction processes under physiological conditions.
Project description:In order to elucidate the potential mechanisms of U(VI) reduction for the optimization of bioremediation strategies, the structure-function relationships of microbial communities were investigated in microcosms of subsurface materials cocontaminated with radionuclides and nitrate. A polyphasic approach was used to assess the functional diversity of microbial populations likely to catalyze electron flow under conditions proposed for in situ uranium bioremediation. The addition of ethanol and glucose as supplemental electron donors stimulated microbial nitrate and Fe(III) reduction as the predominant terminal electron-accepting processes (TEAPs). U(VI), Fe(III), and sulfate reduction overlapped in the glucose treatment, whereas U(VI) reduction was concurrent with sulfate reduction but preceded Fe(III) reduction in the ethanol treatments. Phyllosilicate clays were shown to be the major source of Fe(III) for microbial respiration by using variable-temperature Mössbauer spectroscopy. Nitrate- and Fe(III)-reducing bacteria (FeRB) were abundant throughout the shifts in TEAPs observed in biostimulated microcosms and were affiliated with the genera Geobacter, Tolumonas, Clostridium, Arthrobacter, Dechloromonas, and Pseudomonas. Up to two orders of magnitude higher counts of FeRB and enhanced U(VI) removal were observed in ethanol-amended treatments compared to the results in glucose-amended treatments. Quantification of citrate synthase (gltA) levels demonstrated a stimulation of Geobacteraceae activity during metal reduction in carbon-amended microcosms, with the highest expression observed in the glucose treatment. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that the active FeRB share high sequence identity with Geobacteraceae members cultivated from contaminated subsurface environments. Our results show that the functional diversity of populations capable of U(VI) reduction is dependent upon the choice of electron donor.
Project description:Detoxification of Cr(VI) under alkaline pH requires attention due to the alkaline nature of many effluents. An alkaliphilic gram-positive Bacillus subtilis isolated from tannery effluent contaminated soil was found to grow and reduce Cr(VI) up to 100% at an alkaline pH 9. Decrease in pH to acidic range with growth of the bacterium signified the role played by metabolites (organic acids) in chromium resistance and reduction mechanism. The XPS and FT-IR spectra confirmed the reduction of Cr(VI) by bacteria into +3 oxidation state. Chromate reductase assay indicated that the reduction was mediated by constitutive membrane bound enzymes. The kinetics of Cr(VI) reduction activity derived using the monod equation proved (K s = 0.00032) high affinity of the organism to the metal. This study thus helped to localize the reduction activity at subcellular level in a chromium resistant alkaliphilic Bacillus sp.
Project description:The photocatalytic reduction of Cr(VI) is investigated over iron(III)-based metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) structured as MIL-88B. It is found that MIL-88B (Fe) MOFs, containing Fe3-?3-oxo clusters, can be used as photocatalyst for the reduction of Cr(VI) under visible light irradiation, which is due to the direct excitation of Fe3-?3-oxo clusters. The amine-functionalized MIL-88B (Fe) MOFs (denoted as NH2-MIL-88B (Fe)) shows much higher efficiency for the photocatalytic Cr(VI) reduction under visible-light irradiation compared with MIL-88B (Fe). It is revealed that in addition to the direct excitation of Fe3-?3-oxo clusters, the amine functionality in NH2-MIL-88B (Fe) can also be excited and then transferred an electron to Fe3-?3-oxo clusters, which is responsible for the enhanced photocatalytic activity for Cr(VI) reduction. The enhanced photocatalytic activity for Cr(VI) reduction is also achieved for other two amine-functionalized iron(III)-based MOFs (NH2-MIL-53 (Fe) and NH2-MIL-101 (Fe)).
Project description:A critical appraisal of single-step extraction procedures of chromium species from soil was done in terms of their selectivity towards Cr(III) and Cr(VI) species. Samples of natural mineral and organic soil and samples of soil enriched with different chromium compounds of various solubility (in liquid or solid form) were used to simulate contamination of soil by liquid and solid wastes. The efficiency of extraction of Cr(III) and Cr(VI) species with various reagents, e.g. acetic acid, chelating agents (EDTA, DTPA) or inorganic salts (phosphates and carbonates), was evaluated on the basis of recovery results obtained for enriched samples. None of used reagents allow for quantitative extraction of added Cr(III) form. Procedures based on extraction of soil with Na2CO3 at room and elevated temperature (90-95 °C) were suitable for extraction of Cr(VI) species from mineral soil, whereas for organic soil, the procedure based on extraction with Na2CO3 at room temperature was recommended. The developed extraction procedures were validated using certified reference material (CRM 041 soil) and applied for analysis of contaminated soil samples. The studies showed that the physical state of waste, initial form and oxidation state of chromium and soil properties influenced the final chromium species and their mobility in soil, which have an impact on contamination of environment. The analysis of contaminated soil samples from a tannery area showed that the share of Cr(VI) was very low (only 0.8-4.5%) despite the high total content of chromium, which confirmed that chromium was present in immobile forms.