Project description:Microbial community structures in biofilms of a clearwell in a drinking water supply system in Beijing, China were examined by clone library, terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) and 454 pyrosequencing of the amplified 16S rRNA gene. Six biofilm samples (designated R1-R6) collected from six locations (upper and lower sites of the inlet, middle and outlet) of the clearwell revealed similar bacterial patterns by T-RFLP analysis. With respect to the dominant groups, the phylotypes detected by clone library and T-RFLP generally matched each other. A total of 9,543 reads were obtained from samples located at the lower inlet and the lower outlet sites by pyrosequencing. The bacterial diversity of the two samples was compared at phylum and genus levels. Alphaproteobacteria dominated the communities in both samples and the genus of Sphingomonas constituted 75.1%-99.6% of this phylum. A high level of Sphingomonas sp. was first observed in the drinking water biofilms with 0.6-1.0 mg L(-1) of chlorine residual. Disinfectant-resistant microorganisms deserve special attention in drinking water management. This study provides novel insights into the microbial populations in drinking water systems and highlights the important role of Sphingomonas species in biofilm formation.
Project description:The quality of drinking water is influenced by its chemical and microbial composition which in turn may be affected by the source water and the different processes applied in drinking water purification systems. In this study, we investigated the bacterial diversity in different water samples from the production and distribution chain of thirteen drinking water production and distribution systems from Flanders (Belgium) that use surface water or groundwater as source water. Water samples were collected over two seasons from the source water, the processed drinking water within the production facility and out of the tap in houses along its distribution network. 454-pyrosequencing of 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequences revealed a total of 1,570 species-level bacterial operational taxonomic units. Strong differences in community composition were found between processed drinking water samples originating from companies that use surface water and other that use groundwater as source water. Proteobacteria was the most abundant phylum in all samples. Yet, several phyla including Actinobacteria were significantly more abundant in surface water while Cyanobacteria were more abundant in surface water and processed water originating from surface water. Gallionella, Acinetobacter, and Pseudomonas were the three most abundant genera detected. Members of the Acinetobacter genus were even found at a relative read abundance of up to 47.5% in processed water samples, indicating a general occurrence of Acinetobacter in drinking water (systems).
Project description:High arsenic (As) concentration in groundwater has affected human health, particularly in South-East Asia putting millions of people at risk. Biogeochemical cycling of As carried out by different bacterial groups are suggested to control the As fluxes in aquifers. A functional diversity approach in link with As precipitation was adopted to study bacterial community structures and their variation within the As contaminated Bengal Delta Plain (BDP) aquifers of India. Groundwater samples collected from two shallow aquifers in Karimpur II (West Bengal, India), during years 2010 and 2011, were investigated to trace the effects immediately after monsoon period (precipitation) on community structure and diversity of bacterial assemblages with a focus on arsenite oxidizing bacterial phyla for two successive years. The study focused on amplification, clone library generation and sequencing of the arsenite oxidase large sub-unit gene aioA and 16S rRNA marker, with respect to changes in elemental concentrations. New set of primers were designed to amplify the aioA gene as a phylogenetic marker to study taxonomically diverse arsenite oxidizing bacterial groups in these aquifers. The overall narrow distribution of bacterial communities based on aioA and 16S rRNA sequences observed was due to poor nutrient status and anoxic conditions in these As contaminated aquifers. Proteobacteria was the dominant phylum detected, within which Acidovorax, Hydrogenophaga, Albidiferax, Bosea, and Polymorphum were the major arsenite oxidizing bacterial genera based on the number of clones sequenced. The structure of bacterial assemblages including those of arsenite oxidizing bacteria seems to have been affected by increase in major elemental concentrations (e.g., As, Fe, S, and Si) within two sampling sessions, which was supported by statistical analyses. One of the significant findings of this study is detection of novel lineages of 16S rRNA-like bacterial sequences indicating presence of indigenous bacterial communities BDP wells that can play important role in biogeochemical cycling of elements including As.
Project description:Accretionary prisms are thick masses of sedimentary material scraped from the oceanic crust and piled up at convergent plate boundaries found across large regions of the world. Large amounts of anoxic groundwater and natural gas, mainly methane (CH4), are contained in deep aquifers associated with these accretionary prisms. To identify the subsurface environments and potential for CH4 production by the microbial communities in deep aquifers, we performed chemical and microbiological assays on groundwater and natural gas derived from deep aquifers associated with an accretionary prism and its overlying sedimentary layers. Physicochemical analyses of groundwater and natural gas suggested wide variations in the features of the six deep aquifers tested. On the other hand, a stable carbon isotope analysis of dissolved inorganic carbon in the groundwater and CH4 in the natural gas showed that the deep aquifers contained CH4 of biogenic or mixed biogenic and thermogenic origins. Live/dead staining of microbial cells contained in the groundwater revealed that the cell density of live microbial cells was in the order of 104 to 106? ?cells? ?mL-1, and cell viability ranged between 7.5 and 38.9%. A DNA analysis and anoxic culture of microorganisms in the groundwater suggested a high potential for CH4 production by a syntrophic consortium of hydrogen (H2)-producing fermentative bacteria and H2-utilizing methanogenic archaea. These results suggest that the biodegradation of organic matter in ancient sediments contributes to CH4 production in the deep aquifers associated with this accretionary prism as well as its overlying sedimentary layers.
Project description:A polyphasic approach involving cultivation, direct viable counts, rRNA-based phylogenetic classification, and in situ probing was applied for the characterization of the dominant microbial population in a municipal drinking water distribution system. A total of 234 bacterial strains cultivated on R2A medium were screened for bacteria affiliated with the in situ dominating beta subclass of Proteobacteria. The isolates were grouped according to common features of their cell and colony morphologies, and eight representative strains were used for 16S rRNA sequencing and the development of a suite of strain-specific oligonucleotide probes. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that all of the isolates were hitherto unknown bacteria. Three of them, strains B4, B6, and B8, formed a separate cluster of closely related organisms within the beta 1 subclass of Proteobacteria. In situ probing revealed that (i) 67 to 72% of total bacteria, corresponding to more than 80% of beta-subclass bacteria, could be encompassed with the strain-specific probes and (ii) the dominating bacterial species were culturable on R2A medium. Additionally, two-thirds of the autochthonous drinking water population could be shown to be in a viable but nonculturable (VBNC) state by using a direct viable count approach. The comparison of isolation frequencies with the in situ abundances of the eight investigated strains revealed differences in their culturability, indicating variable ratios of culturable to VBNC cells among the strains. The further characterization of biofilms throughout the distribution network demonstrated strains B6 and B8 to be dominant bacterial strains in groundwater and distribution system biofilms. The other strains could be found at various frequencies in the different parts of the distribution system; several strains appeared exclusively in drinking water biofilms obtained from a house installation system.
Project description:The groundwater biome is a poorly characterized habitat hypothesized to harbor uniquely diverse bacterial communities; the degree to which these communities differ from associated soils is a central question in environmental microbiology. We characterized the Bacterial community composition in 37 aquifer and 32 surface soil samples across the island of O'ahu, Hawai'i. Several bacterial phyla (Acetothermia, Omnitrophica, Parcubacteria, Peregrinibacteria) relatively abundant in the aquifer samples were rare to absent in the soils. Immense bacterial diversity detected in the deep aquifers indicates that these environments are not as homogenous as expected, but provide various niches and energy sources for wide variety of bacteria. A small proportion of OTUs were widespread in all the basal (0.63%) and all the dike aquifer (0.31%) samples. However, these core bacteria comprised an average of 31.8% (ranging 16.2%-62.0%) and 15.4% (0.1%-31.5%) of all sequences isolated from the basal and dike aquifers respectively. Bacterial community composition correlated significantly with the sodium, sulfate, potassium, total dissolved solids, nitrate, conductivity, and pH in the basal aquifers, while phosphate and bicarbonate levels were also highly important when dike water samples were included in the analyses. This was consistent with high relative abundance of putative chemolithoautoroph taxa in the aquifer communities relative to soils. Targeted molecular and culture-based fecal indicator microbial analyses indicated good water quality of aquifers. The dominance of unique, deeply branching lineages in tropical aquifers emphasizes a large adaptive potential in O'ahu's aquifers; variability among groundwater samples suggests that aquifer habitats are surprisingly variable potentially harboring a variety of chemolithotrophic energy sources. Although parallel analyses of conventional and alternative indicators indicated good groundwater quality, this study calls for groundwater monitoring programs which would consider public as well as ecosystem health.
Project description:Bacterial biofilms are complex surface attached communities of bacteria held together by self-produced polymer matrixs mainly composed of polysaccharides, secreted proteins, and extracellular DNAs. Bacterial biofilm formation is a complex process and can be described in five main phases: (i) reversible attachment phase, where bacteria non-specifically attach to surfaces; (ii) irreversible attachment phase, which involves interaction between bacterial cells and a surface using bacterial adhesins such as fimbriae and lipopolysaccharide (LPS); (iii) production of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) by the resident bacterial cells; (iv) biofilm maturation phase, in which bacterial cells synthesize and release signaling molecules to sense the presence of each other, conducing to the formation of microcolony and maturation of biofilms; and (v) dispersal/detachment phase, where the bacterial cells depart biofilms and comeback to independent planktonic lifestyle. Biofilm formation is detrimental in healthcare, drinking water distribution systems, food, and marine industries, etc. As a result, current studies have been focused toward control and prevention of biofilms. In an effort to get rid of harmful biofilms, various techniques and approaches have been employed that interfere with bacterial attachment, bacterial communication systems (quorum sensing, QS), and biofilm matrixs. Biofilms, however, also offer beneficial roles in a variety of fields including applications in plant protection, bioremediation, wastewater treatment, and corrosion inhibition amongst others. Development of beneficial biofilms can be promoted through manipulation of adhesion surfaces, QS and environmental conditions. This review describes the events involved in bacterial biofilm formation, lists the negative and positive aspects associated with bacterial biofilms, elaborates the main strategies currently used to regulate establishment of harmful bacterial biofilms as well as certain strategies employed to encourage formation of beneficial bacterial biofilms, and highlights the future perspectives of bacterial biofilms.
Project description:Permeable reactive barriers (PRBs) consist of a labile carbon source that is positioned to intercept nitrate-laden groundwater to prevent eutrophication. Decomposition of carbon in the PRB drives groundwater anoxic, fostering microbial denitrification. Such PRBs are an ideal habitat to examine microbial community structure under high-nitrate, carbon-replete conditions in coastal aquifers. We examined a PRB installed at the Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Falmouth, MA. Groundwater within and below the PRB was depleted in oxygen compared to groundwater at sites upgradient and at adjacent reference sites. Nitrate concentrations declined from a high of 25 μM upgradient and adjacent to the barrier to <0.1 μM within the PRB. We analyzed the total and active bacterial communities filtered from groundwater flowing through the PRB using amplicons of 16S rRNA and of the 16S rRNA genes. Analysis of the 16S rRNA genes collected from the PRB showed that the total bacterial community had high relative abundances of bacteria thought to have alternative metabolisms, such as fermentation, including candidate phyla OD1, OP3, TM7, and GN02. In contrast, the active bacteria had lower abundances of many of these bacteria, suggesting that the bacterial taxa that differentiate the PRB groundwater community were not actively growing. Among the environmental variables analyzed, dissolved oxygen concentration explained the largest proportion of total community structure. There was, however, no significant correlation between measured environmental parameters and the active microbial community, suggesting that controls on the active portion may differ from the community as a whole.
Project description:Meromictic lakes located in landlocked steppes of central Asia (~2500 km inland) have unique geophysiochemical characteristics compared to other meromictic lakes. To characterize their bacteria and elucidate relationships between those bacteria and surrounding environments, water samples were collected from three saline meromictic lakes (Lakes Shira, Shunet and Oigon) in the border between Siberia and the West Mongolia, near the center of Asia. Based on in-depth tag pyrosequencing, bacterial communities were highly variable and dissimilar among lakes and between oxic and anoxic layers within individual lakes. Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Cyanobacteria, Actinobacteria and Firmicutes were the most abundant phyla, whereas three genera of purple sulfur bacteria (a novel genus, Thiocapsa and Halochromatium) were predominant bacterial components in the anoxic layer of Lake Shira (~20.6% of relative abundance), Lake Shunet (~27.1%) and Lake Oigon (~9.25%), respectively. However, few known green sulfur bacteria were detected. Notably, 3.94% of all sequencing reads were classified into 19 candidate divisions, which was especially high (23.12%) in the anoxic layer of Lake Shunet. Furthermore, several hydro-parameters (temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, H2S and salinity) were associated (P< 0.05) with variations in dominant bacterial groups. In conclusion, based on highly variable bacterial composition in water layers or lakes, we inferred that the meromictic ecosystem was characterized by high diversity and heterogenous niches.
Project description:Although bacteria play key roles in aquatic food webs and biogeochemical cycles, information on the seasonal succession of bacterial communities in lakes is still far from complete. Here, we report results of an integrative study on the successional trajectories of bacterial communities in a seasonally stratified lake with an anoxic hypolimnion. The bacterial community composition of epilimnion, metalimnion, and hypolimnion diverged during summer stratification and converged when the lake was mixed. In contrast, bacterial communities in the sediment remained relatively stable over the year. Phototrophic Cyanobacteria and heterotrophic Actinobacteria, Alphaproteobacteria and Planktomycetes were abundant in the aerobic epilimnion, Gammaproteobacteria (mainly Chromatiaceae) dominated in the metalimnion, and Chlorobi, Betaproteobacteria, Deltaproteobacteria, and Firmicutes were abundant in the anoxic sulfidic hypolimnion. Anoxic but nonsulfidic conditions expanded to the surface layer during fall turnover, when the epilimnion, metalimnion and upper hypolimnion mixed. During this period, phototrophic sulfur bacteria (Chromatiaceae and Chlorobi) disappeared, Polynucleobacter (Betaproteobacteria) and Methylobacter (Gammaproteobacteria) spread out from the former meta- and hypolimnion to the surface layer, and Epsilonproteobacteria dominated in the bottom water layer. Cyanobacteria and Planktomycetes regained dominance in early spring, after the oxygen concentration was restored by winter mixing. In total, these results show large spatio-temporal changes in bacterial community composition, especially during transitions from oxic to anoxic and from sulfidic to nonsulfidic conditions.