Genomic and physiological characterization of the chromate-reducing, aquifer-derived Firmicute Pelosinus sp. strain HCF1.
ABSTRACT: Pelosinus spp. are fermentative firmicutes that were recently reported to be prominent members of microbial communities at contaminated subsurface sites in multiple locations. Here we report metabolic characteristics and their putative genetic basis in Pelosinus sp. strain HCF1, an isolate that predominated anaerobic, Cr(VI)-reducing columns constructed with aquifer sediment. Strain HCF1 ferments lactate to propionate and acetate (the methylmalonyl-coenzyme A [CoA] pathway was identified in the genome), and its genome encodes two [NiFe]- and four [FeFe]-hydrogenases for H(2) cycling. The reduction of Cr(VI) and Fe(III) may be catalyzed by a flavoprotein with 42 to 51% sequence identity to both ChrR and FerB. This bacterium has unexpected capabilities and gene content associated with reduction of nitrogen oxides, including dissimilatory reduction of nitrate to ammonium (two copies of NrfH and NrfA were identified along with NarGHI) and a nitric oxide reductase (NorCB). In this strain, either H(2) or lactate can act as a sole electron donor for nitrate, Cr(VI), and Fe(III) reduction. Transcriptional studies demonstrated differential expression of hydrogenases and nitrate and nitrite reductases. Overall, the unexpected metabolic capabilities and gene content reported here broaden our perspective on what biogeochemical and ecological roles this species might play as a prominent member of microbial communities in subsurface environments.
Project description:The determination of the success of in situ bioremediation strategies is complex. By using controlled laboratory conditions, the influence of individual variables, such as U(VI), Cr(VI), and electron donors and acceptors on community structure, dynamics, and the metal-reducing potential can be studied. Triplicate anaerobic, continuous-flow reactors were inoculated with Cr(VI)-contaminated groundwater from the Hanford, WA, 100-H area, amended with lactate, and incubated for 95 days to obtain stable, enriched communities. The reactors were kept anaerobic with N(2) gas (9 ml/min) flushing the headspace and were fed a defined medium amended with 30 mM lactate and 0.05 mM sulfate with a 48-h generation time. The resultant diversity decreased from 63 genera within 12 phyla to 11 bacterial genera (from 3 phyla) and 2 archaeal genera (from 1 phylum). Final communities were dominated by Pelosinus spp. and to a lesser degree, Acetobacterium spp., with low levels of other organisms, including methanogens. Four new strains of Pelosinus were isolated, with 3 strains being capable of Cr(VI) reduction while one also reduced U(VI). Under limited sulfate, it appeared that the sulfate reducers, including Desulfovibrio spp., were outcompeted. These results suggest that during times of electron acceptor limitation in situ, organisms such as Pelosinus spp. may outcompete the more-well-studied organisms while maintaining overall metal reduction rates and extents. Finally, lab-scale simulations can test new strategies on a smaller scale while facilitating community member isolation, so that a deeper understanding of community metabolism can be revealed.
Project description:Pelosinus species can reduce metals such as Fe(III), U(VI), and Cr(VI) and have been isolated from diverse geographical regions. Five draft genome sequences have been published. We report the complete genome sequence for Pelosinus sp. strain UFO1 using only PacBio DNA sequence data and without manual finishing.
Project description:Pelosinus fermentans JBW45 is an anaerobic, lactate-fermenting bacterium isolated from Cr(VI)-contaminated groundwater at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation 100-H site (Washington) that was collected after stimulation with a polylactate compound. The genome sequence of this organism will provide insight into the metabolic potential of a predominant population during stimulation for metal-reducing conditions.
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:Microbial reduction of toxic hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) in-situ is a plausible bioremediation strategy in electron-acceptor limited environments. However, higher [Cr(VI)] may impose stress on syntrophic communities and impact community structure and function. The study objectives were to understand the impacts of Cr(VI) concentrations on community structure and on the Cr(VI)-reduction potential of groundwater communities at Hanford, WA. Steady state continuous flow bioreactors were used to grow native communities enriched with lactate (30 mM) and continuously amended with Cr(VI) at 0.0 (No-Cr), 0.1 (Low-Cr) and 3.0 (High-Cr) mg/L. Microbial growth, metabolites, Cr(VI), 16S rRNA gene sequences and GeoChip based functional gene composition were monitored for 15 weeks. Temporal trends and differences in growth, metabolite profiles, and community composition were observed, largely between Low-Cr and High-Cr bioreactors. In both High-Cr and Low-Cr bioreactors, Cr(VI) levels were below detection from week 1 until week 15. With lactate enrichment, native bacterial diversity substantially decreased as Pelosinus spp., and Sporotalea spp., became the dominant groups, but did not significantly differ between Cr concentrations. The Archaea diversity also substantially decreased after lactate enrichment from Methanosaeta (35%), Methanosarcina (17%) and others, to mostly Methanosarcina spp. (95%). Methane production was lower in High-Cr reactors suggesting some inhibition of methanogens. Several key functional genes were distinct in Low-Cr bioreactors compared to High-Cr. Among the Cr resistant microbes, Burkholderia vietnamiensis, Comamonas testosterone and Ralstonia pickettii proliferated in Cr amended bioreactors. In-situ fermentative conditions facilitated Cr(VI) reduction, and as a result 3.0 mg/L Cr(VI) did not impact the overall bacterial community structure.
Project description:Chromium is a transition metal most commonly found in the environment in its trivalent [Cr(III)] and hexavalent [Cr(VI)] forms. The EPA maximum total chromium contaminant level for drinking water is 0.1 mg/l (0.1 ppm). Many water sources, especially underground sources, are at low temperatures (less than or equal to 15 Centigrade) year round. It is important to evaluate the possibility of microbial remediation of Cr(VI) contamination using microorganisms adapted to these low temperatures (psychrophiles).Core samples obtained from a Cr(VI) contaminated aquifer at the Hanford facility in Washington were enriched in Vogel Bonner medium at 10 Centigrade with 0, 25, 50, 100, 200, 400 and 1000 mg/l Cr(VI). The extent of Cr(VI) reduction was evaluated using the diphenyl carbazide assay. Resistance to Cr(VI) up to and including 1000 mg/l Cr(VI) was observed in the consortium experiments. Reduction was slow or not observed at and above 100 mg/l Cr(VI) using the enrichment consortium. Average time to complete reduction of Cr(VI) in the 30 and 60 mg/l Cr(VI) cultures of the consortium was 8 and 17 days, respectively at 10 Centigrade. Lyophilized consortium cells did not demonstrate adsorption of Cr(VI) over a 24 hour period. Successful isolation of a Cr(VI) reducing organism (designated P4) from the consortium was confirmed by 16S rDNA amplification and sequencing. Average time to complete reduction of Cr(VI) at 10 Centigrade in the 25 and 50 mg/l Cr(VI) cultures of the isolate P4 was 3 and 5 days, respectively. The 16S rDNA sequence from isolate P4 identified this organism as a strain of Arthrobacter aurescens, a species that has not previously been shown to be capable of low temperature Cr(VI) reduction.A. aurescens, indigenous to the subsurface, has the potential to be a predominant metal reducer in enhanced, in situ subsurface bioremediation efforts involving Cr(VI) and possibly other heavy metals and radionuclides.
Project description:Bioremediation of Cr(VI) and nitrate is considered as a promising and cost-effective alternative to chemical and physical methods. However, organo-Cr(III) complexes in effluent generally causes environmental concerns due to second-pollution. Here, Cr(VI) reduction and immobilization efficiencies of anaerobic activated sludge were investigated. Anaerobic activated sludge showed strong reduction ability of Cr(VI) and possessed a great potential of Cr(III) immobilization. Almost 100.0?mg?l-1 Cr(VI) could be completely reduced and immobilized by anaerobic activated sludge in a sequencing batch reactor in 24?h. And most generated Cr(III) was accumulated outside of sludge cells. Extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) could bind to Cr(VI) and form EPS-Cr(VI) interaction to reduce the toxic effect of Cr(VI) and promote the Cr(VI) reduction. Protein-like and humic-like substances were responsible for binding with Cr(VI), meanwhile the process was a thermodynamically favorable binding reaction. Then Cr(VI) was reduced to Cr(III) by membrane-associated chromate reductase of sludge. Eventually, the generated Cr(III) might exist as poly-nuclear Cr(III) complexes adhered to sludge surfaces.
Project description:Chromium and uranium are highly toxic metals that contaminate many natural environments. We investigated their mechanisms of toxicity under anaerobic conditions using nitrate-reducing Pseudomonas stutzeri RCH2, which was originally isolated from a chromium-contaminated aquifer. A random barcode transposon site sequencing library of RCH2 was grown in the presence of the chromate oxyanion (Cr[VI][Formula: see text]) or uranyl oxycation (U[VI][Formula: see text]). Strains lacking genes required for a functional nitrate reductase had decreased fitness as both metals interacted with heme-containing enzymes required for the later steps in the denitrification pathway after nitrate is reduced to nitrite. Cr[VI]-resistance also required genes in the homologous recombination and nucleotide excision DNA repair pathways, showing that DNA is a target of Cr[VI] even under anaerobic conditions. The reduced thiol pool was also identified as a target of Cr[VI] toxicity and psest_2088, a gene of previously unknown function, was shown to have a role in the reduction of sulfite to sulfide. U[VI] resistance mechanisms involved exopolysaccharide synthesis and the universal stress protein UspA. As the first genome-wide fitness analysis of Cr[VI] and U[VI] toxicity under anaerobic conditions, this study provides new insight into the impact of Cr[VI] and U[VI] on an environmental isolate from a chromium contaminated site, as well as into the role of a ubiquitous protein, Psest_2088.
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.