Mechanisms of Chromium and Uranium Toxicity in Pseudomonas stutzeri RCH2 Grown under Anaerobic Nitrate-Reducing Conditions.
ABSTRACT: 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:Hexavalent Chromium [Cr(VI)] is a widespread contaminant found in soil, sediment, and ground water in several DOE sites, including Hanford 100 H area. In order to stimulate microbially mediated reduction of Cr(VI) at this site, a poly-lactate hydrogen release compound was injected into the chromium contaminated aquifer. Targeted enrichment of dominant nitrate-reducing bacteria post injection resulted in the isolation of Pseudomonas stutzeri strain RCH2. P. stutzeri strain RCH2 was isolated using acetate as the electron donor and is a complete denitrifier. Experiments with anaerobic washed cell suspension of strain RCH2 revealed it could reduce Cr(VI) and Fe(III). The genome of strain RCH2 was sequenced using a combination of Illumina and 454 sequencing technologies and contained a circular chromosome of 4.6 Mb and three plasmids. Global genome comparisons of strain RCH2 with six other fully sequenced P. stutzeri strains revealed most genomic regions are conserved, however strain RCH2 has an additional 244 genes, some of which are involved in chemotaxis, Flp pilus biogenesis and pyruvate/2-oxogluturate complex formation.
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: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:Pyrene and chromium (Cr(VI)) are persistent pollutants and cause serious environmental problems because they are toxic to organisms and difficult to remediate. The toxicity of pyrene and Cr(VI) to three crops (cotton, soybean and maize) was confirmed by the significant decrease in root and shoot biomass during growth in pyrene/Cr(VI) contaminated hydroponic solution. Two bacterial strains capable of simultaneous pyrene biodegradation and Cr(VI) reduction were isolated and identified as Serratia sp. and Arthrobacter sp. A mixture of the isolated strains at a ratio of 1:1 was more efficient for biotreatment of pyrene and Cr(VI) than either strain alone; the mixture effectively carried out bioremediation of contaminated water in a hydroponic system mainly through pyrene biodegradation and Cr(VI) reduction. Application of these isolates shows potential for practical microbial remediation of pyrene and Cr(VI) combined water pollution.
Project description:A total of 16 different strains of <i>Microbacterium</i> spp. were isolated from contaminated soil and enriched on the carcinogen, hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)]. The majority of the isolates (11 of the 16) were able to tolerate concentrations (0.1 mM) of cobalt, cadmium, and nickel, in addition to Cr(VI) (0.5-20 mM). Interestingly, these bacteria were also able to tolerate three different antibiotics (ranges: ampicillin 0-16 μg ml<sup>-1</sup>, chloramphenicol 0-24 μg ml<sup>-1</sup>, and vancomycin 0-24 μg ml<sup>-1</sup>). To gain genetic insight into these tolerance pathways, the genomes of these isolates were assembled and annotated. The genomes of these isolates not only have some shared genes (core genome) but also have a large amount of variability. The genomes also contained an annotated Cr(VI) reductase (<i>chrR</i>) that could be related to Cr(VI) reduction. Further, various heavy metal tolerance (e.g., Co/Zn/Cd efflux system) and antibiotic resistance genes were identified, which provide insight into the isolates' ability to tolerate metals and antibiotics. Overall, these isolates showed a wide range of tolerances to heavy metals and antibiotics and genetic diversity, which was likely required of this population to thrive in a contaminated environment.
Project description:The water aquifers of the regions of Asopos River in Viotia and Messapia in Evia (Greece) have been contaminated with hexavalent chromium (Cr (VI)) and bivalent nickel (Ni (II)). Given that these areas are the two biggest tuber producing regions of Greece, in our previous work, the cross-contamination of the food chain with these two heavy metals was quantified. In the present study, the potential of sunflower (<i>Helianthus annuus</i>) cultivation in these regions is evaluated. The scope of our study was to investigate the uptake of chromium and nickel by sunflower, in a greenhouse experiment. The study included two cultivation periods of plants in six irrigation lines with different levels of Cr (VI) and Ni (II) ranging from 0 ?g/L (control) to 10,000 ?g/L. In all plant parts, statistically significant increased levels of Cr (VI) and Ni (II) were found when compared to control ones. Also, a positive correlation, both for Cr and Ni, between levels of heavy metals in irrigation water and plants was observed. Following European Food Safety Authority recommendations, the obtained oil was evaluated as safe for consumption, therefore, sunflower cultivation could be a valid bioremediation solution for the Asopos and Messapia regions.
Project description:An Gram negative strain of S. maltophilia, indigenous to environments contaminated by Cr(VI) and identified by biochemical methods and 16S rRNA gene analysis, reduced chromate by 100%, 98-99% and 92% at concentrations in the 10-70, 80-300, and 500 mg/L range, respectively at pH 7 and temperature 37 °C. Increasing concentrations of Cr(VI) in the medium lowered the growth rate but could not be directly correlated with the amount of Cr(VI) reduced. The strain also exhibited multiple resistance to antibiotics and tolerance and resistance to various heavy metals (Ni, Zn and Cu), with the exception of Hg. Hexavalent chromium reduction was mainly associated with the soluble fraction of the cell evaluated with crude cell-free extracts. A protein of molecular weight around 25 kDa was detected on SDS-PAGE gel depending on the concentration of hexavalent chromium in the medium (0, 100 and 500 mg/L). In silico analysis in this contribution, revealed the presence of the chromate reductase gene ChrR in S. maltophilia, evidenced through a fragment of around 468 bp obtained experimentally. High Cr(VI) concentration resistance and high Cr(VI) reducing ability of the strain make it a suitable candidate for bioremediation.
Project description:The bacterium MNU16 was isolated from contaminated soils of coal mine and subsequently screened for different plant growth promoting (PGP) activities. The isolate was further identified by 16S rRNA sequencing as Bacillus subtilis MNU16 with IAA concentration (56.95 ± 0.43 6?g/ml), siderophore unit (9.73 ± 2.05%), phosphate solubilization (285.13 ± 1.05 ?g/ml) and ACC deaminase activity (116.79 ± 0.019 ?moles ?-ketobutyrate/mg/24 h). Further, to evaluate the metal resistance profile of bacterium, the isolate was screened for multi-metal resistance (viz. 900 mg/L for Cr, 600 mg/L for As, 700 mg/L for Ni and 300 mg/L for Hg). Additionally, the resistance pattern of B. subtilis MNU16 against Cr(VI) (from 50 to 300 mg/L) treatments were evaluated. An enriched population was observed at 0-200 mg/L Cr(VI) concentration while slight reductions were observed at 250 and 300 mg/L Cr(VI). Further, the chromium reduction ability at 50 mg/L of Cr(VI) highlighted that the bacterium B. subtilis MNU16 reduced 75% of Cr(VI) to 13.23 mg/L within 72 h. The localization of electron dense precipitates was observed in the TEM images of B. subtilis MNU16 which is might be due to the reduction of Cr(VI) to Cr(III). The data of fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry with respect to Cr(VI) treatments (50-300 mg/L) showed a similar pattern and clearly revealed the less toxic effect of hexavalent chromium upto 200 mg/L Cr(VI) concentration. However, toxicity effects were more pronounced at 300 mg/L Cr(VI). Therefore, the present study suggests that the plant growth promoting potential and resistance efficacy of B. subtilis MNU16 will go a long way in developing an effective bioremediation approach for Cr(VI) contaminated soils.
Project description:Heavy metal accumulation in mesquite trees (<i>Prosopis laevigata</i>) growing in aluminum, titanium, chromium and zirconium-polluted soils of a semi-arid region in Mexico was investigated using wavelength dispersive X-ray fluorescence analysis. The results showed that <i>P. laevigata</i> trees can hyper accumulate up to 4100 mg/kg of Al, 14000 mg/kg of Fe, 1600 mg/kg of Ti, 2500 mg/kg of Zn, but not chromium, regarding high chromium concentrations found in soils (435 mg/kg). Since plant-associated microorganism can modulate phytoremediation efficiency, the biodiversity of <i>P. laevigata</i> associated bacteria was studied. Eighty-eight isolates from <i>P. laevigata</i> nodules were obtained; all isolates tolerated high concentrations of Al, Fe, Zn and Cr <i>in vitro</i>. The top-six chromium tolerant strains were identified by 16S rRNA sequence analysis as belonging to genus <i>Bacillus</i>. <i>Bacillus</i> sp. MH778713, close to <i>Bacillus cereus</i> group, showed to be the most resistant strain, tolerating up to 15000 mg/L Cr (VI) and 10000 mg/L of Al. Regarding the bioaccumulation traits, <i>Bacillus</i> sp. MH778713 accumulated up to 100 mg Cr(VI)/g of cells when it was exposed to 1474 mg/L of Cr VI. To assess <i>Bacillus</i> sp. MH778713 ability to assist <i>Prosopis laevigata</i> phytoremediation; twenty plants were inoculated or non-inoculated with <i>Bacillus</i> sp. MH778713 and grown in nitrogen-free Jensen's medium added with 0, 10 and 25 mg/L of Cr(VI). Only plants inoculated with <i>Bacillus</i> sp. grew in the presence of chromium showing the ability of this strain to assist chromium phytoremediation. <i>P. laevigata</i> and <i>Bacillus</i> spp. may be considered as good candidates for soil restoration of arid and semiarid sites contaminated with heavy metals.
Project description:We studied Cr isotopic fractionation during Cr(VI) reduction by Pseudomonas stutzeri strain RCH2. Despite the fact that strain RCH2 reduces Cr(VI) cometabolically under both aerobic and denitrifying conditions and at similar specific rates, fractionation was markedly different under these two conditions (? was ?2‰ aerobically and ?0.4‰ under denitrifying conditions).