Pseudomonads Rule Degradation of Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons in Aerated Sediment.
ABSTRACT: Given that the degradation of aromatic pollutants in anaerobic environments such as sediment is generally very slow, aeration could be an efficient bioremediation option. Using stable isotope probing (SIP) coupled with pyrosequencing analysis of 16S rRNA genes, we identified naphthalene-utilizing populations in aerated polyaromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)-polluted sediment. The results showed that naphthalene was metabolized at both 10 and 20°C following oxygen delivery, with increased degradation at 20°C as compared to 10°C-a temperature more similar to that found in situ. Naphthalene-derived (13)C was primarily assimilated by pseudomonads. Additionally, Stenotrophomonas, Acidovorax, Comamonas, and other minor taxa were determined to incorporate (13)C throughout the measured time course. The majority of SIP-detected bacteria were also isolated in pure cultures, which facilitated more reliable identification of naphthalene-utilizing populations as well as proper differentiation between primary consumers and cross-feeders. The pseudomonads acquiring the majority of carbon were identified as Pseudomonas veronii and Pseudomonas gessardii. Stenotrophomonads and Acidovorax defluvii, however, were identified as cross-feeders unable to directly utilize naphthalene as a growth substrate. PAH degradation assays with the isolated bacteria revealed that all pseudomonads as well as Comamonas testosteroni degraded acenaphthene, fluorene, and phenanthrene in addition to naphthalene. Furthermore, P. veronii and C. testosteroni were capable of transforming anthracene, fluoranthene, and pyrene. Screening of isolates for naphthalene dioxygenase genes using a set of in-house designed primers for Gram-negative bacteria revealed the presence of such genes in pseudomonads and C. testosteroni. Overall, our results indicated an apparent dominance of pseudomonads in the sequestration of carbon from naphthalene and potential degradation of other PAHs upon aeration of the sediment at both 20 and 10°C.
Project description:Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)-degrading bacteria were isolated from contaminated estuarine sediment and salt marsh rhizosphere by enrichment using either naphthalene, phenanthrene, or biphenyl as the sole source of carbon and energy. Pasteurization of samples prior to enrichment resulted in isolation of gram-positive, spore-forming bacteria. The isolates were characterized using a variety of phenotypic, morphologic, and molecular properties. Identification of the isolates based on their fatty acid profiles and partial 16S rRNA gene sequences assigned them to three main bacterial groups: gram-negative pseudomonads; gram-positive, non-spore-forming nocardioforms; and the gram-positive, spore-forming group, Paenibacillus. Genomic digest patterns of all isolates were used to determine unique isolates, and representatives from each bacterial group were chosen for further investigation. Southern hybridization was performed using genes for PAH degradation from Pseudomonas putida NCIB 9816-4, Comamonas testosteroni GZ42, Sphingomonas yanoikuyae B1, and Mycobacterium sp. strain PY01. None of the isolates from the three groups showed homology to the B1 genes, only two nocardioform isolates showed homology to the PY01 genes, and only members of the pseudomonad group showed homology to the NCIB 9816-4 or GZ42 probes. The Paenibacillus isolates showed no homology to any of the tested gene probes, indicating the possibility of novel genes for PAH degradation. Pure culture substrate utilization experiments using several selected isolates from each of the three groups showed that the phenanthrene-enriched isolates are able to utilize a greater number of PAHs than are the naphthalene-enriched isolates. Inoculating two of the gram-positive isolates to a marine sediment slurry spiked with a mixture of PAHs (naphthalene, fluorene, phenanthrene, and pyrene) and biphenyl resulted in rapid transformation of pyrene, in addition to the two- and three-ringed PAHs and biphenyl. This study indicates that the rhizosphere of salt marsh plants contains a diverse population of PAH-degrading bacteria, and the use of plant-associated microorganisms has the potential for bioremediation of contaminated sediments.
Project description:Purpose: find testosterone/17 beta-estradiol degrading genes in strain Comamonas testosteroni JLU460ET Overall design: Strain Comamonas testosteroni JLU460ET was incabated with testosterone or 17 beta-estradiol. Samples were collected at different incubation time points for RNA sequencing.
Project description:Prokaryotes represent one-half of the living biomass on Earth, with the vast majority remaining elusive to culture and study within the laboratory. As a result, we lack a basic understanding of the functions that many species perform in the natural world. To address this issue, we developed complementary population and single-cell stable isotope ((13)C)-linked analyses to determine microbial identity and function in situ. We demonstrated that the use of rRNA/mRNA stable isotope probing (SIP) recovered the key phylogenetic and functional RNAs. This was followed by single-cell physiological analyses of these populations to determine and quantify in situ functions within an aerobic naphthalene-degrading groundwater microbial community. Using these culture-independent approaches, we identified three prokaryote species capable of naphthalene biodegradation within the groundwater system: two taxa were isolated in the laboratory (Pseudomonas fluorescens and Pseudomonas putida), whereas the third eluded culture (an Acidovorax sp.). Using parallel population and single-cell stable isotope technologies, we were able to identify an unculturable Acidovorax sp. which played the key role in naphthalene biodegradation in situ, rather than the culturable naphthalene-biodegrading Pseudomonas sp. isolated from the same groundwater. The Pseudomonas isolates actively degraded naphthalene only at naphthalene concentrations higher than 30 muM. This study demonstrated that unculturable microorganisms could play important roles in biodegradation in the ecosystem. It also showed that the combined RNA SIP-Raman-fluorescence in situ hybridization approach may be a significant tool in resolving ecology, functionality, and niche specialization within the unculturable fraction of organisms residing in the natural environment.
Project description:Ebb-and-flow subirrigation systems are highly efficient, water-saving and environmentally friendly. However, one concern with these recirculating systems is the possible transmission of plant pathogens. Here, through 16S rRNA-targeted Illumina sequencing, the bacterial dynamics in a recirculating nutrient solution were characterized for cucumber plug seedlings cultivated in an ebb-and-flow system in summer and winter. Both the bacterial number and diversity in the nutrient solution increased immediately after the first irrigation cycle; then, these values were gradually stable with recirculating irrigation. In summer and winter, different bacterial compositions and changing patterns were observed. In summer, the predominant genera in the nutrient solution included Comamonas, Pseudomonas, Acinetobacter, Reyranella, Sphingobium, Bradyrhizobium, Sphingomonas, and Acidovorax. Of those genera, during recirculating irrigation, the relative abundance of Bradyrhizobium gradually decreased, whereas those of Pseudomonas, Reyranella, Sphingobium, Sphingomonas, and Acidovorax gradually increased. In winter, the bacterial communities were mainly composed of Nevskia, Bosea, Sphingobium, Acidovorax, Pseudomonas, and Hydrocarboniphaga. Of those genera, the relative abundance of Bosea, Sphingobium, and Acidovorax showed an increasing trend, whereas those of Nevskia and Hydrocarboniphaga decreased overall. Furthermore, in both summer and winter, no plant pathogenic bacteria on cucumber could be detected; however, some potentially beneficial bacteria, including Comamonas testosteroni, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, P. koreensis and Sphingobium yanoikuyae, colonized the nutrient solution and exhibited increased relative abundances during irrigation. The colonization of these bacteria might facilitate the plant growth promotion. Inoculation of the microbes from the effluent nutrient solution also promoted the growth of cucumber seedlings, but did not lead to any disease. The present data elucidate the bacterial dynamics in a cucumber cultivation ebb-and-flow system and provide useful information for biological control during cucumber seedling production.
Project description:Most microorganisms in nature are uncultured with unknown functionality. Sequence-based metagenomics alone answers 'who/what are there?' but not 'what are they doing and who is doing it and how?'. Function-based metagenomics reveals gene function but is usually limited by the specificity and sensitivity of screening strategies, especially the identification of clones whose functional gene expression has no distinguishable activity or phenotypes. A 'biosensor-based genetic transducer' (BGT) technique, which employs a whole-cell biosensor to quantitatively detect expression of inserted genes encoding designated functions, is able to screen for functionality of unknown genes from uncultured microorganisms. In this study, BGT was integrated with Stable isotope probing (SIP)-enabled Metagenomics to form a culture-independent SMB toolbox. The utility of this approach was demonstrated in the discovery of a novel functional gene cluster in naphthalene contaminated groundwater. Specifically, metagenomic sequencing of the (13)C-DNA fraction obtained by SIP indicated that an uncultured Acidovorax sp. was the dominant key naphthalene degrader in-situ, although three culturable Pseudomonas sp. degraders were also present in the same groundwater. BGT verified the functionality of a new nag2 operon which co-existed with two other nag and two nah operons for naphthalene biodegradation in the same microbial community. Pyrosequencing analysis showed that the nag2 operon was the key functional operon in naphthalene degradation in-situ, and shared homology with both nag operons in Ralstonia sp. U2 and Polaromonas naphthalenivorans CJ2. The SMB toolbox will be useful in providing deep insights into uncultured microorganisms and unravelling their ecological roles in natural environments.
Project description:Bacterial steroid degradation has been studied mainly with Rhodococcus equi (Nocardia restrictus) and Comamonas testosteroni as representative steroid degradation bacteria for more than 50 years. The primary purpose was to obtain materials for steroid drugs, but recent studies showed that many genera of bacteria (Mycobacterium, Rhodococcus, Pseudomonas, etc.) degrade steroids and that steroid-degrading bacteria are globally distributed and found particularly in wastewater treatment plants, the soil, plant rhizospheres, and the marine environment. The role of bacterial steroid degradation in the environment is, however, yet to be revealed. To uncover the whole steroid degradation process in a representative steroid-degrading bacterium, C. testosteroni, to provide basic information for further studies on the role of bacterial steroid degradation, we elucidated the two indispensable oxidative reactions and hydration before D-ring cleavage in C. testosteroni TA441. In bacterial oxidative steroid degradation, A- and B-rings of steroids are cleaved to produce 2-hydroxyhexa-2,4-dienoic acid and 9,17-dioxo-1,2,3,4,10,19-hexanorandrostan-5-oic acid. The latter compound was revealed to be degraded to the coenzyme A (CoA) ester of 9?-hydroxy-17-oxo-1,2,3,4,5,6,10,19-octanorandrostan-7-oic acid, which is converted to the CoA ester of 9,17-dioxo-1,2,3,4,5,6,10,19-octanorandrostan-7-oic acid by ORF31-encoded hydroxylacyl dehydrogenase (ScdG), followed by conversion to the CoA ester of 9,17-dioxo-1,2,3,4,5,6,10,19-octanorandrost-8(14)-en-7-oic acid by ORF4-encoded acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (ScdK). Then, a water molecule is added by the ORF5-encoded enoyl-CoA hydratase (ScdY), which leads to the cleavage of the D-ring. The conversion by ScdG is presumed to be a reversible reaction. The elucidated pathway in C. testosteroni TA441 is different from the corresponding pathways in Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv.IMPORTANCE Studies on representative steroid degradation bacteria Rhodococcus equi (Nocardia restrictus) and Comamonas testosteroni were initiated more than 50 years ago primarily to obtain materials for steroid drugs. A recent study showed that steroid-degrading bacteria are globally distributed and found particularly in wastewater treatment plants, the soil, plant rhizospheres, and the marine environment, but the role of bacterial steroid degradation in the environment is yet to be revealed. This study aimed to uncover the whole steroid degradation process in C. testosteroni TA441, in which major enzymes for steroidal A- and B-ring cleavage were elucidated, to provide basic information for further studies on bacterial steroid degradation. C. testosteroni is suitable for exploring the degradation pathway because the involvement of degradation-related genes can be determined by gene disruption. We elucidated the two indispensable oxidative reactions and hydration before D-ring cleavage, which appeared to differ from those present in Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv.
Project description:Comamonas testosteroni TA441 has a complete phenol degradation gene cluster but does not degrade phenol because the cluster is tightly repressed. However, mutant strains that can degrade phenol arise by spontaneous mutations of a repressor gene during incubation with phenol. Here, we report the draft genome sequence of strain TA441.
Project description:The bacteria responsible for the degradation of naphthalene, phenanthrene, pyrene, fluoranthene or benz[a]anthracene in a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)-contaminated soil were investigated by DNA-based stable-isotope probing (SIP). Clone libraries of 16S rRNA genes were generated from the (13) C-enriched ('heavy') DNA recovered from each SIP experiment, and quantitative PCR primers targeting the 16S rRNA gene were developed to measure the abundances of many of the SIP-identified sequences. Clone libraries from the SIP experiments with naphthalene, phenanthrene and fluoranthene primarily contained sequences related to bacteria previously associated with the degradation of those compounds. However, Pigmentiphaga-related sequences were newly associated with naphthalene and phenanthrene degradation, and sequences from a group of uncultivated ?-Proteobacteria known as Pyrene Group 2 were newly associated with fluoranthene and benz[a]anthracene degradation. Pyrene Group 2-related sequences were the only sequences recovered from the clone library generated from SIP with pyrene, and they were 82% of the sequences recovered from the clone library generated from SIP with benz[a]anthracene. In time-course experiments with each substrate in unlabelled form, the abundance of each of the measured groups increased in response to the corresponding substrate. These results provide a comprehensive description of the microbial ecology of a PAH-contaminated soil as it relates to the biodegradation of PAHs from two to four rings, and they underscore that bacteria in Pyrene Group 2 are well-suited for the degradation of four-ring PAHs.
Project description:Numerous studies have reported the masculinization of freshwater wildlife exposed to androgens in polluted rivers. Microbial degradation is a crucial mechanism for eliminating steroid hormones from contaminated ecosystems. The aerobic degradation of testosterone was observed in various bacterial isolates. However, the ecophysiological relevance of androgen-degrading microorganisms in the environment is unclear. Here, we investigated the biochemical mechanisms and corresponding microorganisms of androgen degradation in aerobic sewage. Sewage samples collected from the Dihua Sewage Treatment Plant (Taipei, Taiwan) were aerobically incubated with testosterone (1?mM). Androgen metabolite analysis revealed that bacteria adopt the 9, 10-seco pathway to degrade testosterone. A metagenomic analysis indicated the apparent enrichment of Comamonas spp. (mainly C. testosteroni) and Pseudomonas spp. in sewage incubated with testosterone. We used the degenerate primers derived from the meta-cleavage dioxygenase gene (tesB) of various proteobacteria to track this essential catabolic gene in the sewage. The amplified sequences showed the highest similarity (87-96%) to tesB of C. testosteroni. Using quantitative PCR, we detected a remarkable increase of the 16S rRNA and catabolic genes of C. testosteroni in the testosterone-treated sewage. Together, our data suggest that C. testosteroni, the model microorganism for aerobic testosterone degradation, plays a role in androgen biodegradation in aerobic sewage.
Project description:Members of Comamonas testosteroni are environmental microorganisms that are usually found in polluted environment samples. They utilize steroids and aromatic compounds but rarely sugars, and show resistance to multiple heavy metals and multiple drugs. However, comprehensive genomic analysis among the C. testosteroni strains is lacked.To understand the genome bases of the features of C. testosteroni, we sequenced 10 strains of this species and analyzed them together with other related published genome sequences. The results revealed that: 1) the strains of C. testosteroni have genome sizes ranging from 5.1 to 6.0 Mb and G?+?C contents ranging from 61.1% to 61.8%. The pan-genome contained 10,165 gene families and the core genome contained 3,599 gene families. Heap's law analysis indicated that the pan-genome of C. testosteroni may be open (??=?0.639); 2) by analyzing 31 phenotypes of 11 available C. testosteroni strains, 99.4% of the genotypes (putative genes) were found to be correlated to the phenotypes, indicating a high correlation between phenotypes and genotypes; 3) gene clusters for nitrate reduction, steroids degradation and metal and multi-drug resistance were found and were highly conserved among all the genomes of this species; 4) the genome similarity of C. testosteroni may be related to the geographical distances.This work provided an overview on the genomes of C. testosteroni and new genome resources that would accelerate the further investigations of this species. Importantly, this work focused on the analysis of potential genetic determinants for the typical characters and found high correlation between the phenotypes and their corresponding genotypes.