The physiological effect of heavy metals and volatile fatty acids on Methanococcus maripaludis S2.
ABSTRACT: Background:Methanogenic archaea are of importance to the global C-cycle and to biological methane (CH4) production through anaerobic digestion and pure culture. Here, the individual and combined effects of copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), acetate, and propionate on the metabolism of the autotrophic, hydrogenotrophic methanogen Methanococcus maripaludis S2 were investigated. Cu, Zn, acetate, and propionate may interfere directly and indirectly with the acetyl-CoA synthesis and biological CH4 production. Thus, these compounds can compromise or improve the performance of M. maripaludis, an organism which can be applied as biocatalyst in the carbon dioxide (CO2)-based biological CH4 production (CO2-BMP) process or of methanogenic organisms applied in anaerobic digestion. Results:Here, we show that Cu concentration of 1.9 µmol L-1 reduced growth of M. maripaludis, whereas 4.4 and 6.3 µmol L-1 of Cu even further retarded biomass production. However, 1.0 mmol L-1 of Zn enhanced growth, but at Zn concentrations >?2.4 mmol L-1 no growth could be observed. When both, Cu and Zn, were supplemented to the medium, growth and CH4 production could even be observed at the highest tested concentration of Cu (6.3 µmol L-1). Hence, it seems that the addition of 1 mmol L-1 of Zn enhanced the ability of M. maripaludis to counteract the toxic effect of Cu. The physiological effect to rising concentrations of acetate (12.2, 60.9, 121.9 mmol L-1) and/or propionate (10.3, 52.0, 104.1 mmol L-1) was also investigated. When instead of acetate 10.3 mmol L-1 propionate was provided in the growth medium, M. maripaludis could grow without reduction of the specific growth rate (µ) or the specific CH4 productivity (qCH4). A combination of inorganic and/or organic compounds resulted in an increase of µ and qCH4 for Zn/Cu and Zn/acetate beyond the values that were observed if only the individual concentrations of Zn, Cu, acetate were used. Conclusions:Our study sheds light on the physiological effect of VFAs and heavy metals on M. maripaludis. Differently from µ and qCH4, MER was not influenced by the presence of these compounds. This indicated that each of these compounds directly interacted with the C-fixation machinery of M. maripaludis. Until now, the uptake of VFAs other than acetate was not considered to enhance growth and CH4 production of methanogens. The finding of propionate uptake by M. maripaludis is important for the interpretation of VFA cycling in anaerobic microenvironments. Due to the importance of methanogens in natural and artificial anaerobic environments, our results help to enhance the understanding the physiological and biotechnological importance with respect to anaerobic digestion, anaerobic wastewater treatment, and CO2-BMP. Finally, we propose a possible mechanism for acetate uptake into M. maripaludis supported by in silico analyses.
Project description:Gut-derived short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), formed by microbial fermentation of dietary fibers, are believed to be involved in the etiology of obesity and diabetes. Previous data from our group showed that colonic infusions of physiologically relevant SCFA mixtures attenuated whole-body lipolysis in overweight men. To further study potential mechanisms involved in the antilipolytic properties of SCFA, we aimed to investigate the in vitro effects of SCFA incubations on intracellular lipolysis and signaling using a human white adipocyte model, the human multipotent adipose tissue-derived stem (hMADS) cells.hMADS adipocytes were incubated with mixtures of acetate, propionate, and butyrate or single SCFA (acetate, propionate and butyrate) in concentrations ranging between 1?µmol/L and 1?mmol/L. Glycerol release and lipase activation was investigated during basal conditions and following ?-adrenergic stimulation.SCFA mixtures high in acetate and propionate decreased basal glycerol release, when compared to control (P?<?0.05), while mixtures high in butyrate had no effect. Also, ?-adrenergic receptor mediated glycerol release was not significantly altered following incubation with SCFA mixtures. Incubation with only acetate decreased basal (1?µmol/L) and ?-adrenergically (1?µmol/L and 1?mmol/L) mediated glycerol release when compared with control (P?<?0.05). In contrast, butyrate (1?µmol/L) slightly increased basal and ?-adrenergically mediated glycerol release compared with control (P?<?0.05), while propionate had no effect on lipolysis. The antilipolytic effect of acetate was accompanied by a reduced phosphorylation of hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL) at serine residue 650. In addition, inhibition of Gi G proteins following pertussis toxin treatment prevented the antilipolytic effect of acetate.The present data demonstrated that acetate was mainly responsible for the antilipolytic effects of SCFA and acts via attenuation of HSL phosphorylation in a Gi-coupled manner in hMADS adipocytes. Therefore, the modulation of colonic and circulating acetate may be an important target to modulate human adipose tissue lipid metabolism.
Project description:Syngas generated by thermal gasification of biomass or coal can be steam reformed and purified into methane, which could be used locally for energy needs, or re-injected in the natural gas grid. As an alternative to chemical catalysis, the main components of the syngas (CO, CO2, and H2) can be used as substrates by a wide range of microorganisms, to be converted into gas biofuels, including methane. This study evaluates the carboxydotrophic (CO-consuming) methanogenic potential present in an anaerobic sludge from an upflow anaerobic sludge bed (UASB) reactor treating waste water, and elucidates the CO conversion routes to methane at 35 ± 3°C. Kinetic activity tests under CO at partial pressures (pCO) varying from 0.1 to 1.5 atm (0.09-1.31 mmol/L in the liquid phase) showed a significant carboxydotrophic activity potential for growing conditions on CO alone. A maximum methanogenic activity of 1 mmol CH4 per g of volatile suspended solid and per day was achieved at 0.2 atm of CO (0.17 mmol/L), and then the rate decreased with the amount of CO supplied. The intermediary metabolites such as acetate, H2, and propionate started to accumulate at higher CO concentrations. Inhibition experiments with 2-bromoethanesulfonic acid (BES), fluoroacetate, and vancomycin showed that in a mixed culture CO was converted mainly to acetate by acetogenic bacteria, which was further transformed to methane by acetoclastic methanogens, while direct methanogenic CO conversion was negligible. Methanogenesis was totally blocked at high pCO in the bottles (≥1 atm). However it was possible to achieve higher methanogenic potential under a 100% CO atmosphere after acclimation of the sludge to CO. This adaptation to high CO concentrations led to a shift in the archaeal population, then dominated by hydrogen-utilizing methanogens, which were able to take over acetoclastic methanogens, while syntrophic acetate oxidizing (SAO) bacteria oxidized acetate into CO2 and H2. The disaggregation of the granular sludge showed a negative impact on their methanogenic activity, confirming that the acetoclastic methanogens were the most sensitive to CO, and a contrario, the advantage of using granular sludge for further development toward large-scale methane production from CO-rich syngas.
Project description:Although soil-borne methanogens are known to be highly diverse and adapted to extreme environments, their application as potential (anaerobic) inocula to improve anaerobic digestion has not been investigated until now. The present study aimed at evaluating if soil-derived communities can be beneficial for biogas (methane, CH4) production and endure unfavorable conditions commonly associated with digestion failure. Nine study sites were chosen and tested for suitability as inoculation sources to improve biogas production via in situ measurements (CH4 fluxes, physical and chemical soil properties, and abundance of methanogens) and during a series of anaerobic digestions with (a) combinations of both sterile or unsterile soil and diluted fermenter sludge, and (b) pH-, acetate-, propionate-, and ammonium-induced disturbance. Amplicon sequencing was performed to assess key microbial communities pivotal for successful biogas production. Four out of nine tested soil inocula exerted sufficient methanogenic activity and repeatedly allowed satisfactory CH4/biogas production even under deteriorated conditions. Remarkably, the significantly highest CH4 production was observed using unsterile soil combined with sterile sludge, which coincided with both a higher relative abundance of methanogens and predicted genes involved in CH4 metabolism in these variants. Different bacterial and archaeal community patterns depending on the soil/sludge combinations and disturbance variations were established and these patterns significantly impacted CH4 production. Methanosarcina spp. seemed to play a key role in CH4 formation and prevailed even under stressed conditions. Overall, the results provided evidence that soil-borne methanogens can be effective in enhancing digestion performance and stability and, thus, harbor vast potential for further exploitation.
Project description:Ammonia accumulation is a major inhibitory substance causing anaerobic digestion upset and failure in CH4 production. At high ammonia levels, CH4 production through syntrophic acetate oxidization (SAO) pathways is more tolerant to ammonia toxicity than the acetoclastic methanogenesis pathway, but the low CH4 production rate through SAO constitutes the main reason for the low efficiency of energy recovery in anaerobic digesters treating ammonia-rich substrates. In this study, we showed that acetate fermentation to CH4 and CO2 occurred through SAO pathway in the anaerobic reactors containing a high ammonia concentration (5.0 g l-1 NH4+ -N), and the magnetite nanoparticles supplementation increased the CH4 production rates from acetate by 36-58%, compared with the anaerobic reactors without magnetite under the same ammonia level. The mechanism of facilitated methanogenesis was proposed to be the establishment of direct interspecies electron transfer (DIET) for SAO, in which magnetite facilitated DIET between syntrophic acetate oxidizing bacteria and methanogens. High-throughput 16S rRNA gene sequencing analysis revealed that the bacterial Geobacteraceae and the archaeal Methanosarcinaceae and Methanobacteriaceae might be involved in magnetite-mediated DIET for SAO and CH4 production. This study demonstrated that magnetite supplementation might provide an effective approach to accelerate CH4 production rates in the anaerobic reactors treating wastewater containing high ammonia.
Project description:Short chain fatty acids (SCFA), including acetate, propionate, and butyrate, are produced during bacterial fermentation of undigested carbohydrates in the human colon. In this study, we applied a stable-isotope dilution method to quantify the in vivo colonic production of SCFA in healthy humans after consumption of inulin. Twelve healthy subjects performed a test day during which a primed continuous intravenous infusion with [1-(13)C]acetate, [1-(13)C]propionate and [1-(13)C]butyrate (12, 1.2 and 0.6 ?mol·kg(-1)·min(-1), respectively) was applied. They consumed 15 g of inulin with a standard breakfast. Breath and blood samples were collected at regular times during the day over a 12 h period. The endogenous rate of appearance of acetate, propionate, and butyrate was 13.3 ± 4.8, 0.27 ± 0.09, and 0.28 ± 0.12 ?mol·kg(-1)·min(-1), respectively. Colonic inulin fermentation was estimated to be 137 ± 75 mmol acetate, 11 ± 9 mmol propionate, and 20 ± 17 mmol butyrate over 12 h, assuming that 40%, 10%, and 5% of colonic derived acetate, propionate, and butyrate enter the systemic circulation. In conclusion, inulin is mainly fermented into acetate and, to lesser extents, into butyrate and propionate. Stable isotope technology allows quantifying the production of the three main SCFA in vivo and proved to be a practical tool to investigate the extent and pattern of SCFA production.
Project description:The transition from acetate production by a microorganism in its early growth phase to acetate re-uptake in its late growth phase has been termed acetate switch. It has been observed in several heterotrophic prokaryotes, but not in an autotroph. Furthermore, all reports hitherto have involved the tricarboxylic acid cycle. This study reports the first observation of acetate switch in a methanogenic autotroph Methanococcus maripaludis S2, which uses the Wolfe cycle for its anaerobic respiration. When grown in minimal medium with carbon dioxide as the sole carbon source, and either ammonium or dinitrogen as the sole nitrogen source, M. maripaludis S2 dissimilated acetate in the early growth phase and assimilated it back in the late growth phase. The acetate switch was more pronounced in the dinitrogen-grown cultures. We postulate that the acetate dissimilation in M. maripaludis S2 may serve as a metabolic outlet for the carbon overflow in the early growth phase, and the assimilation in the late growth phase may be due to the scarcity of the carbon source. Based on the primary and secondary protein structures, we propose that MMP0253 may function as the adenosine diphosphate (ADP)-forming acetyl-CoA synthetase to catalyse acetate formation from acetyl-CoA. To verify this, we produced MMP0253 via the ligation-independent cloning technique in Escherichia coli strain Rosetta (DE3) using pNIC28-Bsa4 as the vector. The recombinant protein showed catalytic activity, when added into a mixture of acetyl-CoA, ADP, and inorganic phosphate (Pi). The concentration profile of acetate, together with the enzymatic activity of MMP0253, shows that M. maripaludis S2 can produce acetate and exhibit an acetate switch.
Project description:Propionate is one of the most important intermediates of anaerobic fermentation. Its oxidation performed by syntrophic propionate-oxidizing bacteria coupled with hydrogenotrophic methanogens is considered to be a rate-limiting step for methane production. However, the current understanding of SPOB is limited due to the difficulty of pure culture isolation. In the present study, two anaerobic chemostats fed with propionate as the sole carbon source were operated at different dilution rates (0.05 d-1 and 0.15 d-1). The propionate- and acetate-oxidizing bacteria in the two methanogenic chemostats were investigated combining DNA-stable isotope probing (DNA-SIP) and 16S rRNA gene high-throughput sequencing. The results of DNA-SIP with 13C-propionate/acetate suggested that, Smithella, Syntrophobacter, Cryptanaerobacter, and unclassified Rhodospirillaceae may be putative propionate-oxidizing bacteria; unclassified Spirochaetaceae, unclassified Synergistaceae, unclassified Elusimicrobia, Mesotoga, and Gracilibacter may contribute to acetate oxidation; unclassified Syntrophaceae and Syntrophomonas may be butyrate oxidizers. By DNA-SIP, unclassified OTUs with 16S rRNA gene abundance higher than 62% of total Bacteria in the PL chemostat and 38% in the PH chemostat were revealed to be related to the degradation of propionate. These results suggest that a variety of uncultured bacteria contribute to propionate degradation during anaerobic digestion. The functions and metabolic characteristics of these bacteria require further investigation.
Project description:Bimetallic CuZn catalysts have been recently proposed as alternatives in order to achieve selectivity control during the electrochemical reduction of CO2 (CO2RR). However, fundamental understanding of the underlying reaction mechanism and parameters determining the CO2RR performance is still missing. In this study, we have employed size-controlled (?5 nm) Cu100-xZnx nanoparticles (NPs) supported on carbon to investigate the correlation between their structure and composition and catalytic performance. By tuning the concentration of Zn, a drastic increase in CH4 selectivity [?70% Faradaic efficiency (F.E.)] could be achieved for Zn contents from 10 to 50, which was accompanied by a suppression of the H2 production. Samples containing a higher Zn concentration displayed significantly lower CH4 production and an abrupt switch in the selectivity to CO. Lack of metal leaching was observed based on quasi in situ X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Operando X-ray absorption fine structure (XAFS) spectroscopy measurements revealed that the alloying of Cu atoms with Zn atoms takes place under reaction conditions and plays a determining role in the product selectivity. Time-dependent XAFS analysis showed that the local structure and chemical environment around the Cu atoms continuously evolve during CO2RR for several hours. In particular, cationic Zn species initially present were found to get reduced as the reaction proceeded, leading to the formation of a CuZn alloy (brass). The evolution of the Cu-Zn interaction with time during CO2RR was found to be responsible for the change in the selectivity from CH4 over Cu-ZnO NPs to CO over CuZn alloy NPs. This study highlights the importance of having access to in depth information on the interplay between the different atomic species in bimetallic NP electrocatalysts under operando reaction conditions in order to understand and ultimately tune their reactivity.
Project description:Background:Chain elongation forms a new platform technology for the circular production of biobased chemicals from renewable carbon and energy sources. This study aimed to develop a continuous methanol-based chain elongation process for the open-culture production of a new-generation biofuel precursor and potential platform chemical: n-valerate. Propionate was used as a substrate for chain elongation to n-valerate in an anaerobic open-culture bioreactor. In addition, the co-production of n- and iso-butyrate in addition to n-valerate via, respectively, acetate and propionate elongation was investigated. Results:n-Valerate was produced during batch and continuous experiments with a pH in the range 5.5-5.8 and a hydraulic retention time of 95 h. Decreasing the pH from 5.8 to 5.5 caused an increase of the selectivity for n-valerate formation (from 58 up to 70 wt%) during methanol-based propionate elongation. n-Valerate and both n- and iso-butyrate were produced during simultaneous methanol-based elongation of propionate and acetate. Propionate was within the open-culture preferred over acetate as a substrate with 10-30% more consumption. Increasing the methanol concentration in the influent (from 250 to 400 mM) resulted in a higher productivity (from 45 to 58 mmol C/L/day), but a lower relative product selectivity (from 49 to 43 wt%) of n-valerate. The addition of acetate as a substrate did not change the average n-valerate productivities. Within the continuous bioreactor experiments, 6 to 17 wt% of formed products was methane. The microbial community during all steady-states in both methanol-based elongation bioreactors was dominated by species related to Clostridium luticellarii and Candidatus Methanogranum. C. luticellarii is the main candidate for n-valerate formation from methanol and propionate. Conclusions:n-Valerate was for the first time proven to be produced from propionate and methanol by an open-culture bioreactor. Methanogenic activity can be inhibited by decreasing the pH, and the n-valerate productivity can be improved by increasing the methanol concentration. The developed process can be integrated with various biorefinery processes from thermochemical, (bio)electrochemical, photovoltaic and microbial technologies. The findings from this study form a useful tool to steer the process of biological production of chemicals from biomass and other carbon and energy sources.
Project description:The rumen microbial complex adaptive mechanism invalidates various methane (CH4) mitigation strategies. Shifting the hydrogen flow toward alternative electron acceptors, such as propionate, was considered to be a meaningful mitigation strategy. A completely randomized design was applied in in vitro incubation to investigate the effects of replacing forage fiber with non-forage fiber sources (NFFS) in diets on methanogenesis, hydrogen metabolism, propionate production and the methanogenic and bacterial community. There are two treatments in the current study, CON (a basic total mixed ration) and TRT (a modified total mixed ration). The dietary treatments were achieved by partly replacing forage fiber with NFFS (wheat bran and soybean hull) to decrease forage neutral detergent fiber (fNDF) content from 24.0 to 15.8%, with the composition and inclusion rate of other dietary ingredients remaining the same in total mixed rations. The concentrations of CH4, hydrogen (H2) and volatile fatty acids were determined using a gas chromatograph. The archaeal and bacterial 16S rRNA genes were sequenced by Miseq high-throughput sequencing and used to reveal the relative abundance of methanogenic and bacterial communities. The results revealed that the concentration of propionate was significantly increased, while the concentration of acetate and the acetate to propionate ratio were not affected by treatments. Compared with CON, the production of H2 increased by 8.45% and the production of CH4 decreased by 14.06%. The relative abundance of Methanomassiliicoccus was significantly increased, but the relative abundance of Methanobrevibacter tended to decrease in TRT group. At the bacterial phylum level, the TRT group significantly decreased the relative abundance of Firmicutes and tended to increase the relative abundance of Bacteroidetes. The replacement of forage fiber with NFFS in diets can affect methanogenesis by shifting the hydrogen flow toward propionate, and part is directed to H2 in vitro. The shift was achieved by a substitution of Firmicutes by Bacteroidetes, another substitution of Methanobrevibacter by Methanomassiliicoccus. Theoretical predictions of displacements of H2 metabolism from methanogenesis to propionate production was supported by the dietary intervention in vitro.