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Mycobacterial species and their contribution to cholesterol degradation in wastewater treatment plants.


ABSTRACT: Mycobacterium often presents as an abundant bacterial genus in activated sludge in many wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), but the species-level taxonomy and functions remain poorly understood. In this study, we profiled the mycobacterial communities in eleven WWTPs from five countries by pyrosequencing the rpoB amplicons and searching against a customized database of mycobacterial rpoB sequences. Results indicated that major mycobacterial species were related to M. brumae, M. crocinum, M. sphagni, etc., most of which belong to poorly characterized rapidly-growing group. A few opportunistic pathogenic species were detected, suggesting the potential risk of mycobacteria in WWTPs. Genomic analysis of four isolates from activated sludge indicated these genomes contained genes of degradations of alkane, aromatics, steroids and a variety of cytochrome P450 families. Additionally, a few key genes responsible for cholesterol degradation were detected in a full-scale activated sludge metatranscriptomic dataset reported previously and taxonomically assigned to mycobacteria. Evidence showed that all isolates can degrade cholesterol, a major composition of sewage. Relative abundance of mycobacteria in activated sludge was enriched by 4.7 folds after adding cholesterol into the influent for one week. Our results provided the insights into mycobacterial species and functions in WWTPs.

SUBMITTER: Guo F 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6351609 | BioStudies | 2019-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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