Isolation and characterization of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria associated with the rhizosphere of salt marsh plants.
ABSTRACT: 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:Background:Stenotrophomonas are ubiquitous gram-negative bacteria, which can survive in a wide range of environments. They can use many substances for their growth and are known to be intrinsically resistant to many antimicrobial agents. They have been tested for biotechnological applications, bioremediation, and production of antimicrobial agents. Method:Stenotrophomonas sp. Pemsol was isolated from a crude oil contaminated soil. The capability of this isolate to tolerate and degrade polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) such as anthraquinone, biphenyl, naphthalene, phenanthrene, phenanthridine, and xylene was evaluated in Bushnell Hass medium containing PAHs as the sole carbon sources. The metabolites formed after 30-day degradation of naphthalene by Pemsol were analyzed using Fourier Transform Infra-red Spectroscopic (FTIR), Ultra-Performance Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (UPLC-MS) and Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS). The genome of Pemsol was also sequenced and analyzed. Results:Anthraquinone, biphenyl, naphthalene, phenanthrene, and phenanthridine except xylene can be used as sole carbon sources for Pemsol's growth in Bushnell Hass medium. The degradation of naphthalene at a concentration of 1 mg/mL within 30 days was tested. A newly formed catechol peak and the disappearance of naphthalene peak detected on the UPLC-MS, and GC-MS analyses spectra respectively confirmed the complete degradation of naphthalene. Pemsol does not produce biosurfactant and neither bio-emulsify PAHs. The whole genome was sequenced and assembled into one scaffold with a length of 4,373,402 bp. A total of 145 genes involved in the degradation of PAHs were found in its genome, some of which are Pemsol-specific as compared with other 11 Stenotrophomonas genomes. Most specific genes are located on the genomic islands. Stenotrophomonas sp. Pemsol's possession of few genes that are associated with bio-emulsification gives the genetic basis for its inability to bio-emulsify PAH. A possible degradation pathway for naphthalene in Pemsol was proposed following the analysis of Pemsol's genome. ANI and GGDH analysis indicated that Pemsol is likely a new species of Stenotrophomonas. It is the first report on a complete genome sequence analysis of a PAH-degrading Stenotrophomonas. Stenotrophomonas sp. Pemsol possesses features that make it a good bacterium for genetic engineering and will be an excellent tool for the remediation of crude oil or PAH-contaminated soil.
Project description:Phenanthrene- and naphthalene-degrading bacteria were isolated from four offshore and nearshore locations in the Gulf of Mexico by using a modified most-probable-number technique. The concentrations of these bacteria ranged from 10(2) to 10(6) cells per ml of wet surficial sediment in mildly contaminated and noncontaminated sediments. A total of 23 strains of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)-degrading bacteria were obtained. Based on partial 16S ribosomal DNA sequences and phenotypic characteristics, these 23 strains are members of the genus Cycloclasticus. Three representatives were chosen for a complete phylogenetic analysis, which confirmed the close relationship of these isolates to type strain Cycloclasticus pugetii PS-1, which was isolated from Puget Sound. PAH substrate utilization tests which included high-molecular-weight PAHs revealed that these isolates had similar, broad substrate ranges which included naphthalene, substituted naphthalenes, phenanthrene, biphenyl, anthracene, acenaphthene, and fluorene. Degradation of pyrene and fluoranthene occurred only when the strains were incubated with phenanthrene. Two distinct partial PAH dioxygenase iron sulfur protein (ISP) gene sequences were PCR amplified from Puget Sound and Gulf of Mexico Cycloclasticus strains. Phylogenetic analyses of these sequences revealed that one ISP type is related to the bph type of ISP sequences, while the other ISP type is related to the nah type of ISP sequences. The predicted ISP amino acid sequences for the Gulf of Mexico and Puget Sound strains are identical, which supports the hypothesis that these geographically separated isolates are closely related phylogentically. Cycloclasticus species appear to be numerically important and widespread PAH-degrading bacteria in both Puget Sound and the Gulf of Mexico.
Project description:Bacteria play an important role in the removal of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from polluted environments. In marine environments, Cycloclasticus is one of the most prevalent PAH-degrading bacterial genera. However, little is known regarding the degradation mechanisms for multiple PAHs by Cycloclasticus Cycloclasticus sp. strain P1 was isolated from deep-sea sediments and is known to degrade naphthalene, phenanthrene, pyrene, and other aromatic hydrocarbons. Here, six ring-hydroxylating dioxygenases (RHDs) were identified in the complete genome of Cycloclasticus sp. P1 and were confirmed to be involved in PAH degradation by enzymatic assays. Further, five gene clusters in its genome were identified to be responsible for PAH degradation. Degradation pathways for naphthalene, phenanthrene, and pyrene were elucidated in Cycloclasticus sp. P1 based on genomic and transcriptomic analysis and characterization of an interconnected metabolic network. The metabolic pathway overlaps in many steps in the degradation of pyrene, phenanthrene, and naphthalene, which were validated by the detection of metabolic intermediates in cultures. This study describes a pyrene degradation pathway for Cycloclasticus. Moreover, the study represents the integration of a PAH metabolic network that comprises pyrene, phenanthrene, and naphthalene degradation pathways. Taken together, these results provide a comprehensive investigation of PAH metabolism in Cycloclasticus IMPORTANCE PAHs are ubiquitous in the environment and are carcinogenic compounds and tend to accumulate in food chains due to their low bioavailability and poor biodegradability. Cycloclasticus is an obligate marine PAH degrader and is widespread in marine environments, while the PAH degradation pathways remain unclear. In this report, the degradation pathways for naphthalene, phenanthrene, and pyrene were revealed, and an integrated PAH metabolic network covering pyrene, phenanthrene, and naphthalene was constructed in Cycloclasticus This overlapping network provides streamlined processing of PAHs to intermediates and ultimately to complete mineralization. Furthermore, these results provide an additional context for the prevalence of Cycloclasticus in oil-polluted marine environments and pelagic settings. In conclusion, these analyses provide a useful framework for understanding the cellular processes involved in PAH metabolism in an ecologically important marine bacterium.
Project description:Despite the considerable knowledge of bacterial high-molecular-weight (HMW) polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) metabolism, the key enzyme(s) and its pleiotropic and epistatic behavior(s) responsible for low-molecular-weight (LMW) PAHs in HMW PAH-metabolic networks remain poorly understood. In this study, a phenotype-based strategy, coupled with a spray plate method, selected a Mycobacterium vanbaalenii PYR-1 mutant (6G11) that degrades HMW PAHs but not LMW PAHs. Sequence analysis determined that the mutant was defective in pdoA2, encoding an aromatic ring-hydroxylating oxygenase (RHO). A series of metabolic comparisons using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis revealed that the mutant had a lower rate of degradation of fluorene, anthracene, and pyrene. Unlike the wild type, the mutant did not produce a color change in culture media containing fluorene, phenanthrene, and fluoranthene. An Escherichia coli expression experiment confirmed the ability of the Pdo system to oxidize biphenyl, the LMW PAHs naphthalene, phenanthrene, anthracene, and fluorene, and the HMW PAHs pyrene, fluoranthene, and benzo[a]pyrene, with the highest enzymatic activity directed toward three-ring PAHs. Structure analysis and PAH substrate docking simulations of the Pdo substrate-binding pocket rationalized the experimentally observed metabolic versatility on a molecular scale. Using information obtained in this study and from previous work, we constructed an RHO-centric functional map, allowing pleiotropic and epistatic enzymatic explanation of PAH metabolism. Taking the findings together, the Pdo system is an RHO system with the pleiotropic responsibility of LMW PAH-centric hydroxylation, and its epistatic functional contribution is also crucial for the metabolic quality and quantity of the PAH-MN.
Project description:Rieske oxygenase (RO) systems are two- and three-component enzyme systems that catalyze the formation of cis-dihydrodiols from aromatic substrates. Degradation of pollutants in contaminated soil and generation of chiral synthons have been the major foci of RO research. Substrate specificity and product regio- and stereoselectivity have been shown to vary between individual ROs. While directed evolution methods for altering RO function have been successful in the past, rational engineering of these enzymes still poses a challenge due to the lack of structural understanding. Here we examine the structural changes induced by mutation of Phe-352 in naphthalene 1,2-dioxygenase from Pseudomonas sp. strain NCIB 9816-4 (NDO-O(9816-4)). Structures of the Phe-352-Val mutant in native form and in complex with phenanthrene and anthracene, along with those of wild-type NDO-O(9816-4) in complex with phenanthrene, anthracene, and 3-nitrotoluene, are presented. Phenanthrene was shown to bind in a different orientation in the Phe-352-Val mutant active site from that in the wild type, while anthracene was found to bind in similar positions in both enzymes. Two orientations of 3-nitrotoluene were observed, i.e., a productive and a nonproductive orientation. These orientations help explain why NDO-O(9816-4) forms different products from 3-nitrotoluene than those made from nitrobenzene dioxygenase. Comparison of these structures among themselves and with other known ROs bound to substrates reveals that the orientation of substrate binding at the active site is the primary determinant of product regio- and stereoselectivity.
Project description:Mycobacterium vanbaalenii PYR-1 is able to metabolize a wide range of low- and high-molecular-weight (HMW) polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). A 20-kDa protein was upregulated in PAH-metabolizing M. vanbaalenii PYR-1 cells compared to control cultures. The differentially expressed protein was identified as a beta subunit of the terminal dioxygenase using mass spectrometry. PCR with degenerate primers designed based on de novo sequenced peptides and a series of plaque hybridizations were done to screen the M. vanbaalenii PYR-1 genomic library. The genes, designated nidA3B3, encoding the alpha and beta subunits of terminal dioxygenase, were subsequently cloned and sequenced. The deduced enzyme revealed close similarities to the corresponding PAH ring-hydroxylating dioxygenases from Mycobacterium and Rhodococcus spp. but had the highest similarity, 61.9%, to the alpha subunit from Nocardioides sp. strain KP7. The alpha subunit also showed 52% sequence homology with the previously reported NidA from M. vanbaalenii PYR-1. The genes nidA3B3 were subcloned into the expression vector pET-17b, and the enzyme activity in Escherichia coli cells was reconstituted through coexpression with the ferredoxin (PhdC) and ferredoxin reductase (PhdD) genes of the phenanthrene dioxygenase from Nocardioides sp. strain KP7. The recombinant PAH dioxygenase appeared to favor the HMW PAH substrates fluoranthene, pyrene, and phenanthrene. Several other PAHs, including naphthalene, anthracene, and benz[a]anthracene, were also converted to their corresponding cis-dihydrodiols. The recombinant E. coli, however, did not show any dioxygenation activity for phthalate and biphenyl. The upregulation of nidA3B3 in M. vanbaalenii PYR-1 induced by PAHs was confirmed by reverse transcription-PCR analysis.
Project description:Benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) is a carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) that is not known to be a bacterial growth substrate. Organisms capable of cometabolizing BaP in complex field-contaminated systems have not previously been identified. We evaluated BaP mineralization by a bacterial community from a bioreactor treating PAH-contaminated soil during coincubation with or after pre-enrichment on various PAHs as growth substrates. Pyrosequence libraries of 16S rRNA genes were used to identify bacteria that were enriched on the added growth substrate as a means of associating specific organisms with BaP mineralization. Coincubating the bioreactor-treated soil with naphthalene, phenanthrene, or pyrene inhibited BaP mineralization, whereas pre-enriching the soil on the same three PAHs enhanced BaP mineralization. Combined, these results suggest that bacteria in the bioreactor community that are capable of growing on naphthalene, phenanthrene, and/or pyrene can metabolize BaP, with coincubation competitively inhibiting BaP metabolism. Anthracene, fluoranthene, and benz[a]anthracene had little effect on BaP mineralization compared to incubations without an added growth substrate under either coincubation or pre-enrichment conditions. Substantial increases in relative abundance after pre-enrichment with phenanthrene, naphthalene, or pyrene, but not the other PAHs, suggest that members of the genera Cupriavidus and Luteimonas may have been associated with BaP mineralization.
Project description:The diversity of indigenous bacteria in sediments from several sites in the Elizabeth River (Virginia) able to degrade multiple polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) was investigated by the use of classical selective enrichment and molecular analyses. Enrichment cultures containing naphthalene, phenanthrene, fluoranthene, or pyrene as a sole carbon and energy source were monitored by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) to detect changes in the bacterial-community profile during enrichment and to determine whether the representative strains present were successfully cultured. The DGGE profiles of the final enrichments grown solely on naphthalene and pyrene showed no clear relationship with the site from which the inoculum was obtained. The enrichments grown solely on pyrene for two sample sites had >80% similarity, which suggests that common pyrene-degrading strains may be present in these sediments. The final enrichments grown on fluoranthene and phenanthrene remained diverse by site, suggesting that these strains may be influenced by environmental conditions. One hundred and one isolates were obtained, comprising representatives of the actinomycetes and alpha-, beta-, and gammaproteobacteria, including seven novel isolates with 16S rRNA gene sequences less than 98% similar to known strains. The ability to degrade multiple PAHs was demonstrated by mineralization of 14C-labeled substrate and growth in pure culture. This supports our hypothesis that a high diversity of bacterial strains with the ability to degrade multiple PAHs can be confirmed by the combined use of classical selective enrichment and molecular analyses. This large collection of diverse PAH-degrading strains provides a valuable resource for studies on mechanisms of PAH degradation and bioremediation.
Project description:Cloning and molecular ecological studies have underestimated the diversity of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) catabolic genes by emphasizing classical nah-like (nah, ndo, pah, and dox) sequences. Here we report the description of a divergent set of PAH catabolic genes, the phn genes, which although isofunctional to the classical nah-like genes, show very low homology. This phn locus, which contains nine open reading frames (ORFs), was isolated on an 11.5-kb HindIII fragment from phenanthrene-degrading Burkholderia sp. strain RP007. The phn genes are significantly different in sequence and gene order from previously characterized genes for PAH degradation. They are transcribed by RP007 when grown at the expense of either naphthalene or phenanthrene, while in Escherichia coli the recombinant phn enzymes have been shown to be capable of oxidizing both naphthalene and phenanthrene to predicted metabolites. The locus encodes iron sulfur protein alpha and beta subunits of a PAH initial dioxygenase but lacks the ferredoxin and reductase components. The dihydrodiol dehydrogenase of the RP007 pathway, PhnB, shows greater similarity to analogous dehydrogenases from described biphenyl pathways than to those characterized from naphthalene/phenanthrene pathways. An unusual extradiol dioxygenase, PhnC, shows no similarity to other extradiol dioxygenases for naphthalene or biphenyl oxidation but is the first member of the recently proposed class III extradiol dioxygenases that is specific for polycyclic arene diols. Upstream of the phn catabolic genes are two putative regulatory genes, phnR and phnS. Sequence homology suggests that phnS is a LysR-type transcriptional activator and that phnR, which is divergently transcribed with respect to phnSFECDAcAdB, is a member of the sigma54-dependent family of positive transcriptional regulators. Reverse transcriptase PCR experiments suggest that this gene cluster is coordinately expressed and is under regulatory control which may involve PhnR and PhnS.
Project description:Cycloclasticus sp. strain A5 is able to grow with petroleum polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), including unsubstituted and substituted naphthalenes, dibenzothiophenes, phenanthrenes, and fluorenes. A set of genes responsible for the degradation of petroleum PAHs was isolated by using the ability of the organism to oxidize indole to indigo. This 10.5-kb DNA fragment was sequenced and found to contain 10 open reading frames (ORFs). Seven ORFs showed homology to previously characterized genes for PAH degradation and were designated phn genes, although the sequence and order of these phn genes were significantly different from the sequence and order of the known PAH-degrading genes. The phnA1, phnA2, phnA3, and phnA4 genes, which encode the alpha and beta subunits of an iron-sulfur protein, a ferredoxin, and a ferredoxin reductase, respectively, were identified as the genes coding for PAH dioxygenase. The phnA4A3 gene cluster was located 3.7 kb downstream of the phnA2 gene. PhnA1 and PhnA2 exhibited moderate (less than 62%) sequence identity to the alpha and beta subunits of other aromatic ring-hydroxylating dioxygenases, but motifs such as the Fe(II)-binding site and the [2Fe-2S] cluster ligands were conserved. Escherichia coli cells possessing the phnA1A2A3A4 genes were able to convert phenanthrene, naphthalene, and methylnaphthalene in addition to the tricyclic heterocycles dibenzofuran and dibenzothiophene to their hydroxylated forms. Significantly, the E. coli cells also transformed biphenyl and diphenylmethane, which are ordinarily the substrates of biphenyl dioxygenases.