Identification of active and taxonomically diverse 1,4-dioxane degraders in a full-scale activated sludge system by high-sensitivity stable isotope probing.
ABSTRACT: 1,4-Dioxane is one of the most common and persistent artificial pollutants in petrochemical industrial wastewaters and chlorinated solvent groundwater plumes. Despite its possible biological treatment in natural environments, the identity and dynamics of the microorganisms involved are largely unknown. Here, we identified active and diverse 1,4-dioxane-degrading microorganisms from activated sludge by high-sensitivity stable isotope probing of rRNA. By rigorously analyzing 16S rRNA molecules in RNA density fractions of 13C-labeled and unlabeled 1,4-dioxane treatments, we discovered 10 significantly 13C-incorporating microbial species from the complex microbial community. 16S rRNA expression assays revealed that 9 of the 10 species, including the well-known degrader Pseudonocardia dioxanivorans, an ammonia-oxidizing bacterium and phylogenetically novel bacteria, increased their metabolic activities shortly after exposure to 1,4-dioxane. Moreover, high-resolution monitoring showed that, during a single year of operation of the full-scale activated sludge system, the nine identified species exhibited yearly averaged relative abundances of 0.001-1.523%, and yet showed different responses to changes in the 1,4-dioxane removal efficiency. Hence, the co-existence and individually distinct dynamics of various 1,4-dioxane-degrading microorganisms, including hitherto unidentified species, played pivotal roles in the maintenance of the biological system removing the recalcitrant pollutant.
Project description:Bacterial multicomponent monooxygenase gene targets in Pseudonocardia dioxanivorans CB1190 were evaluated for their use as biomarkers to identify the potential for 1,4-dioxane biodegradation in pure cultures and environmental samples. Our studies using laboratory pure cultures and industrial activated sludge samples suggest that the presence of genes associated with dioxane monooxygenase, propane monooxygenase, alcohol dehydrogenase, and aldehyde dehydrogenase are promising indicators of 1,4-dioxane biotransformation; however, gene abundance was insufficient to predict actual biodegradation. A time course gene expression analysis of dioxane and propane monooxygenases in Pseudonocardia dioxanivorans CB1190 and mixed communities in wastewater samples revealed important associations with the rates of 1,4-dioxane removal. In addition, transcripts of alcohol dehydrogenase and aldehyde dehydrogenase genes were upregulated during biodegradation, although only the aldehyde dehydrogenase was significantly correlated with 1,4-dioxane concentrations. Expression of the propane monooxygenase demonstrated a time-dependent relationship with 1,4-dioxane biodegradation in P. dioxanivorans CB1190, with increased expression occurring after over 50% of the 1,4-dioxane had been removed. While the fraction of P. dioxanivorans CB1190-like bacteria among the total bacterial population significantly increased with decrease in 1,4-dioxane concentrations in wastewater treatment samples undergoing active biodegradation, the abundance and expression of monooxygenase-based biomarkers were better predictors of 1,4-dioxane degradation than taxonomic 16S rRNA genes. This study illustrates that specific bacterial monooxygenase and dehydrogenase gene targets together can serve as effective biomarkers for 1,4-dioxane biodegradation in the environment.
Project description:Pseudonocardia dioxanivorans CB1190 is the first bacterium reported to be capable of growth on the environmental contaminant 1,4-dioxane and the first member of the genus Pseudonocardia for which there is an annotated genome sequence. Preliminary analysis of the genome (chromosome and three plasmids) indicates that strain CB1190 possesses several multicomponent monooxygenases that could be involved in the aerobic degradation of 1,4-dioxane and other environmental contaminants.
Project description:By using 1,4-dioxane as the sole source of carbon, a 1,4-dioxane-degrading microorganism was isolated from soil. The fungus, termed strain A, was able to utilize 1,4-dioxane and many kinds of cyclic ethers as the sole source of carbon and was identified as Cordyceps sinensis from its 18S rRNA gene sequence. Ethylene glycol was identified as a degradation product of 1,4-dioxane by the use of deuterated 1,4-dioxane-d8 and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis. A degradation pathway involving ethylene glycol, glycolic acid, and oxalic acid was proposed, followed by incorporation of the glycolic acid and/or oxalic acid via glyoxylic acid into the tricarboxylic acid cycle.
Project description:The groundwater contaminant 1,4-dioxane (dioxane) is transformed by several monooxygenase-expressing microorganisms, but only a few of these, including Pseudonocardia dioxanivorans strain CB1190, can metabolize the compound as a sole carbon and energy source. However, nothing is yet known about the genetic basis of dioxane metabolism. In this study, we used a microarray to study differential expression of genes in strain CB1190 grown on dioxane, glycolate (a previously identified intermediate of dioxane degradation), or pyruvate. Of eight multicomponent monooxygenase gene clusters carried by the strain CB1190 genome, only the monooxygenase gene cluster located on plasmid pPSED02 was upregulated with dioxane relative to pyruvate. Plasmid-borne genes for putative aldehyde dehydrogenases, an aldehyde reductase, and an alcohol oxidoreductase were also induced during growth with dioxane. With both dioxane and glycolate, a chromosomal gene cluster encoding a putative glycolate oxidase was upregulated, as were chromosomal genes related to glyoxylate metabolism through the glyoxylate carboligase pathway. Glyoxylate carboligase activity in cell extracts from cells pregrown with dioxane and in Rhodococcus jostii strain RHA1 cells expressing the putative strain CB1190 glyoxylate carboligase gene further demonstrated the role of glyoxylate metabolism in the degradation of dioxane. Finally, we used (13)C-labeled dioxane amino acid isotopomer analysis to provide additional evidence that metabolites of dioxane enter central metabolism as three-carbon compounds, likely as phosphoglycerate. The routing of dioxane metabolites via the glyoxylate carboligase pathway helps to explain how dioxane is metabolized as a sole carbon and energy source for strain CB1190.
Project description:Tetrahydrofuran (THF) is known to induce the biodegradation of 1,4-dioxane (dioxane), an emerging contaminant, but the mechanisms by which THF affects dioxane biodegradation in microbial communities are not well understood. To fill this knowledge gap, changes in the microbial community structure in microcosm experiments with synthetic medium and landfill leachate were examined over time using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing and functional gene quantitative PCR assays. The overarching hypothesis being tested was that THF promoted dioxane biodegradation by increasing the abundance of dioxane-degrading bacteria in the consortium. The data revealed that in experiments with synthetic medium, the addition of THF significantly increased the abundance of Pseudonocardia, a genus with several representatives that can grow on both dioxane and THF, and of Rhodococ cus ruber, a species that can use THF as the primary growth substrate while cometabolizing dioxane. However, in similar experiments with landfill leachate, only R. ruber was significantly enriched. When the THF concentration was higher than the dioxane concentration, THF competitively inhibited dioxane degradation since dioxane degradation was negligible, while the dioxane-degrading bacteria and the corresponding THF/dioxane monooxygenase gene copies increased by a few orders of magnitude.IMPORTANCE Widespread in groundwater and carcinogenic to humans, 1,4-dioxane (dioxane) is attracting significant attention in recent years. Advanced oxidation processes can effectively remove dioxane but require high energy consumption and operation costs. Biological removal of dioxane is of particular interest due to the ability of some bacteria to mineralize dioxane at a low energy cost. Although dioxane is generally considered recalcitrant to biodegradation, more than 20 types of bacteria can degrade dioxane as the sole electron donor substrate or the secondary electron donor substrate. In the latter case, tetrahydrofuran (THF) is commonly studied as the primary electron donor substrate. Previous work has shown that THF promotes dioxane degradation at a low THF concentration but inhibits dioxane degradation at a high THF concentration. Our work expanded on the previous work by mechanically examining the effects of THF on dioxane degradation in a microbial community context.
Project description:The bacterium Pseudonocardia dioxanivorans CB1190 grows on the cyclic ethers 1,4-dioxane (dioxane) and tetrahydrofuran (THF) as sole carbon and energy sources. Prior transcriptional studies indicated that an annotated THF monooxygenase (THF MO) gene cluster, thmADBC, located on a plasmid in CB1190 is upregulated during growth on dioxane. In this work, transcriptional analysis demonstrates that upregulation of thmADBC occurs during growth on the dioxane metabolite β-hydroxyethoxyacetic acid (HEAA) and on THF. Comparison of the transcriptomes of CB1190 grown on THF and succinate (an intermediate of THF degradation) permitted the identification of other genes involved in THF metabolism. Dioxane and THF oxidation activity of the THF MO was verified in Rhodococcus jostii RHA1 cells heterologously expressing the CB1190 thmADBC gene cluster. Interestingly, these thmADBC expression clones accumulated HEAA as a dead-end product of dioxane transformation, indicating that despite its genes being transcriptionally upregulated during growth on HEAA, the THF MO enzyme is not responsible for degradation of HEAA in CB1190. Similar activities were also observed in RHA1 cells heterologously expressing the thmADBC gene cluster from Pseudonocardia tetrahydrofuranoxydans K1.
Project description:A bacterium designated Pseudonocardia sp. strain ENV478 was isolated by enrichment culturing on tetrahydrofuran (THF) and was screened to determine its ability to degrade a range of ether pollutants. After growth on THF, strain ENV478 degraded THF (63 mg/h/g total suspended solids [TSS]), 1,4-dioxane (21 mg/h/g TSS), 1,3-dioxolane (19 mg/h/g TSS), bis-2-chloroethylether (BCEE) (12 mg/h/g TSS), and methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) (9.1 mg/h/g TSS). Although the highest rates of 1,4-dioxane degradation occurred after growth on THF, strain ENV478 also degraded 1,4-dioxane after growth on sucrose, lactate, yeast extract, 2-propanol, and propane, indicating that there was some level of constitutive degradative activity. The BCEE degradation rates were about threefold higher after growth on propane (32 mg/h/g TSS) than after growth on THF, and MTBE degradation resulted in accumulation of tert-butyl alcohol. Degradation of 1,4-dioxane resulted in accumulation of 2-hydroxyethoxyacetic acid (2HEAA). Despite its inability to grow on 1,4-dioxane, strain ENV478 degraded this compound for > 80 days in aquifer microcosms. Our results suggest that the inability of strain ENV478 and possibly other THF-degrading bacteria to grow on 1,4-dioxane is related to their inability to efficiently metabolize the 1,4-dioxane degradation product 2HEAA but that strain ENV478 may nonetheless be useful as a biocatalyst for remediating 1,4-dioxane-contaminated aquifers.
Project description:Although the anaerobic biodegradation of methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) and tert-butyl alcohol (TBA) has been documented in the laboratory and the field, knowledge of the microorganisms and mechanisms involved is still lacking. In this study, DNA-stable isotope probing (SIP) was used to identify microorganisms involved in anaerobic fuel oxygenate biodegradation in a sulfate-reducing MTBE and TBA plume. Microorganisms were collected in the field using Bio-Sep® beads amended with 13C5-MTBE, 13C1-MTBE (only methoxy carbon labeled), or13C4-TBA. 13C-DNA and 12C-DNA extracted from the Bio-Sep beads were cloned and 16S rRNA gene sequences were used to identify the indigenous microorganisms involved in degrading the methoxy group of MTBE and the tert-butyl group of MTBE and TBA. Results indicated that microorganisms were actively degrading 13C-labeled MTBE and TBA in situ and the 13C was incorporated into their DNA. Several sequences related to known MTBE- and TBA-degraders in the Burkholderiales and the Sphingomonadales orders were detected in all three13C clone libraries and were likely to be primary degraders at the site. Sequences related to sulfate-reducing bacteria and iron-reducers, such as Geobacter and Geothrix, were only detected in the clone libraries where MTBE and TBA were fully labeled with 13C, suggesting that they were involved in processing carbon from the tert-butyl group. Sequences similar to the Pseudomonas genus predominated in the clone library where only the methoxy carbon of MTBE was labeled with 13C. It is likely that members of this genus were secondary degraders cross-feeding on 13C-labeled metabolites such as acetate.
Project description:Analysis of gene expression in Pseudonocardia dioxanivorans strain CB1190 during growth with dioxane, glycolate or pyruvate. Three treatments, based on carbon source used for growth: pyruvate, dioxane and glycolate. Triplicate microarrays (biological replicates) were prepared for each treatment. Pyruvate was used as the reference treatment for subsequent analysis. Gene expression changes were compared pair-wise: dioxane vs. pyruvate, and glycolate vs. pyruvate