Project description:Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) pollutants originating from oil spills and wood and fuel combustion are pollutants which are among the major threats to mangrove ecosystems. In this study, the composition and relative abundance in the sediment bacterial communities of naphthalene dioxygenase (ndo) genes which are important for bacterial adaptation to environmental PAH contamination were investigated. Three urban mangrove sites which had characteristic compositions and levels of PAH compounds in the sediments were selected. The diversity and relative abundance of ndo genes in total community DNA were assessed by a newly developed ndo denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) approach and by PCR amplification with primers targeting ndo genes with subsequent Southern blot hybridization analyses. Bacterial populations inhabiting sediments of urban mangroves under the impact of different sources of PAH contamination harbor distinct ndo genotypes. Sequencing of cloned ndo amplicons comigrating with dominant DGGE bands revealed new ndo genotypes. PCR-Southern blot analysis and ndo DGGE showed that the frequently studied nah and phn genotypes were not detected as dominant ndo types in the mangrove sediments. However, ndo genotypes related to nagAc-like genes were detected, but only in oil-contaminated mangrove sediments. The long-term impact of PAH contamination, together with the specific environmental conditions at each site, may have affected the abundance and diversity of ndo genes in sediments of urban mangroves.
Project description:We investigated the diversity, spatial distribution, and abundances of ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) and ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) in sediment samples of different depths collected from a transect with different distances to mangrove forest in the territories of Hong Kong. Both the archaeal and bacterial amoA genes (encoding ammonia monooxygenase subunit A) from all samples supported distinct phylogenetic groups, indicating the presences of niche-specific AOA and AOB in mangrove sediments. The higher AOB abundances than AOA in mangrove sediments, especially in the vicinity of the mangrove trees, might indicate the more important role of AOB on nitrification. The spatial distribution showed that AOA had higher diversity and abundance in the surface layer sediments near the mangrove trees (0 and 10 m) but lower away from the mangrove trees (1,000 m), and communities of AOA could be clustered into surface and bottom sediment layer groups. In contrast, AOB showed a reverse distributed pattern, and its communities were grouped by the distances between sites and mangrove trees, indicating mangrove trees might have different influences on AOA and AOB community structures. Furthermore, the strong correlations among archaeal and bacterial amoA gene abundances and their ratio with NH (4) (+) , salinity, and pH of sediments indicated that these environmental factors have strong influences on AOA and AOB distributions in mangrove sediments. In addition, AOA diversity and abundances were significantly correlated with hzo gene abundances, which encodes the key enzyme for transformation of hydrazine into N(2) in anaerobic ammonium-oxidizing (anammox) bacteria, indicating AOA and anammox bacteria may interact with each other or they are influenced by the same controlling factors, such as NH (4) (+) . The results provide a better understanding on using mangrove wetlands as biological treatment systems for removal of nutrients.
Project description:Sulfate-reducing prokaryotes (SRP) cause severe problems like microbial corrosion and reservoir souring in seawater-injected oil production systems. One strategy to control SRP activity is the addition of nitrate to the injection water. Production waters from two adjacent, hot (80 degrees C) oil reservoirs, one with and one without nitrate treatment, were compared for prokaryotic community structure and activity of SRP. Bacterial and archaeal 16S rRNA gene analyses revealed higher prokaryotic abundance but lower diversity for the nitrate-treated field. The 16S rRNA gene clone libraries from both fields were dominated by sequences affiliated with Firmicutes (Bacteria) and Thermococcales (Archaea). Potential heterotrophic nitrate reducers (Deferribacterales) were exclusively found at the nitrate-treated field, possibly stimulated by nitrate addition. Quantitative PCR of dsrAB genes revealed that archaeal SRP (Archaeoglobus) dominated the SRP communities, but with lower relative abundance at the nitrate-treated site. Bacterial SRP were found in only low abundance at both sites and were nearly exclusively affiliated with thermophilic genera (Desulfacinum and Desulfotomaculum). Despite the high abundance of archaeal SRP, no archaeal SRP activity was detected in [(35)S]sulfate incubations at 80 degrees C. Sulfate reduction was found at 60 degrees C in samples from the untreated field and accompanied by the growth of thermophilic bacterial SRP in batch cultures. Samples from the nitrate-treated field generally lacked SRP activity. These results indicate that (i) Archaeoglobus can be a major player in hot oil reservoirs, and (ii) nitrate may act in souring control-not only by inhibiting SRP, but also by changing the overall community structure, including the stimulation of competitive nitrate reducers.
Project description:Although mangroves represent ecosystems of global importance, the genetic diversity and abundance of functional genes that are key to their functioning scarcely have been explored. Here, we present a survey based on the nifH gene across transects of sediments of two mangrove systems located along the coast line of São Paulo state (Brazil) which differed by degree of disturbance, i.e., an oil-spill-affected and an unaffected mangrove. The diazotrophic communities were assessed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE), quantitative PCR (qPCR), and clone libraries. The nifH gene abundance was similar across the two mangrove sediment systems, as evidenced by qPCR. However, the nifH-based PCR-DGGE profiles revealed clear differences between the mangroves. Moreover, shifts in the nifH gene diversities were noted along the land-sea transect within the previously oiled mangrove. The nifH gene diversity depicted the presence of nitrogen-fixing bacteria affiliated with a wide range of taxa, encompassing members of the Alphaproteobacteria, Betaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, Firmicutes, and also a group of anaerobic sulfate-reducing bacteria. We also detected a unique mangrove-specific cluster of sequences denoted Mgv-nifH. Our results indicate that nitrogen-fixing bacterial guilds can be partially endemic to mangroves, and these communities are modulated by oil contamination, which has important implications for conservation strategies.
Project description:An analysis of the effect of an oil spill on mangrove sediments was carried out by contamination of mesocosms derived from two different mangroves, one with a history of contamination and one pristine. The association between N(2) fixers and hydrocarbon degradation was assessed using quantitative PCR (qPCR) for the genes rrs and nifH, nifH clone library sequencing and total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) quantification using gas chromatography. TPH showed that the microbial communities of both mangroves were able to degrade the hydrocarbons added; however, whereas the majority of oil added to the mesocosm derived from the polluted mangrove was degraded in the 75 days of the experiment, there was only partially degradation in the mesocosm derived from the pristine mangrove. qPCR showed that the addition of oil led to an increase in rrs gene copy numbers in both mesocosms, having almost no effect on the nifH copy numbers in the pristine mangrove. Sequencing of nifH clones indicated that the changes promoted by the oil in the polluted mangrove were greater than those observed in the pristine mesocosm. The main effect observed in the polluted mesocosm was the selection of a single phylotype which is probably adapted to the presence of petroleum. These results, together with previous reports, give hints about the relationship between N(2) fixation and hydrocarbon degradation in natural ecosystems.
Project description:Mangrove forests are widespread along the subtropical and tropical coasts. They provide a habitat for a wide variety of plants, animals and microorganisms, and act as a buffer zone between the ocean and land. Along with other coastal environments, mangrove ecosystems are under increasing pressure from human activities, such as excessive input of nutrients and toxic pollutants. Despite efforts to understand the diversity of microbes in mangrove sediments, their metabolic capability in pristine and contaminated mangrove sediments remains largely unknown. By using metagenomic approach, we investigated the metabolic capacity of microorganisms in contaminated (CMS) and pristine (PMS) mangrove sediments at subtropical and tropical coastal sites. When comparing the CMS with PMS, we found that the former had a reduced diazotroph abundance and nitrogen fixing capability, but an enhanced metabolism that is related to the generation of microbial greenhouse gases via increased methanogenesis and sulfate reduction. In addition, a high concentration of heavy metals (mainly Zn, Cd, and Pb) and abundance of metal/antibiotic resistance encoding genes were found in CMS. Together, these data provide evidence that contamination in mangrove sediment can markedly change microbial community and metabolism; however, no significant differences in gene distribution were found between the subtropical and tropical mangrove sediments. In summary, contamination in mangrove sediments might weaken the microbial metabolisms that enable the mangrove ecosystems to act as a buffer zone for terrestrial nutrients deposition, and induce bioremediation processes accompanied with an increase in greenhouse gas emission.
Project description:The stratified distribution of bacterial and archaeal communities has been detected in many sediment profiles from various natural environments. A better understanding of microbial composition and diversity pattern in coastal mangrove wetlands in relation to physicochemical and spatial-temporal influences could provide more insights into the ecological functions of microbes in coastal wetlands. In this study, seasonal variations of microbial communities within sediment profiles from two sediment types (mangrove forest and intertidal mudflats) at three sampling locations in coastal Mai Po wetland were characterized using MiSeq high throughput sequencing and 16S rRNA quantitative PCR methods. Bacterial 16S rRNA gene abundance showed clear decreasing trends with increasing depth for all sites, seasonality and sediment types. There is a weak seasonal dynamic of bacterial and archaeal community abundance in both seasons. Seasonality imposed more influence on the beta diversity pattern of bacterial community than archaeal community. The five most abundant phyla within bacterial and archaeal community remain stable between two distinctive seasons. Sediment depth and seasonality are the most influential factors affecting bacterial community composition and diversity. The pH is the most influential factor on shaping the archaeal community. Stratified distribution of bacterial community including aerobic and anaerobic bacterial taxa is largely represented in the surface layers and the subsurface layers, respectively. For archaeal stratification, Thaumarchaeota Marine Group I is the dominant member in surface sediments while Bathyarchaeota and MBG-B dominate in subsurface sediments. Such stratified distribution patterns are irrespective of sediment types, sampling locations or seasonality, but significantly correlated to the sediment depth, which might be shaped by oxygen availability and the distribution of other terminal electron accepters along the depth profile.
Project description:Availability of inorganic nutrients, particularly nitrogen and phosphorous, is often a primary control on crude oil hydrocarbon degradation in marine systems. Many studies have empirically determined optimum levels of inorganic N and P for stimulation of hydrocarbon degradation. Nevertheless, there is a paucity of information on fundamental kinetic parameters for nutrient enhanced crude oil biodegradation that can be used to model the fate of crude oil in bioremediation programmes that use inorganic nutrient addition to stimulate oil biodegradation. Here we report fundamental kinetic parameters (Ks and qmax) for nitrate- and phosphate-stimulated crude oil biodegradation under nutrient limited conditions and with respect to crude oil, under conditions where N and P are not limiting. In the marine sediments studied, crude oil degradation was limited by both N and P availability. In sediments treated with 12.5 mg/g of oil but with no addition of N and P, hydrocarbon degradation rates, assessed on the basis of CO2 production, were 1.10 ± 0.03 ?mol CO2/g wet sediment/day which were comparable to rates of CO2 production in sediments to which no oil was added (1.05 ± 0.27 ?mol CO2/g wet sediment/day). When inorganic nitrogen was added alone maximum rates of CO2 production measured were 4.25 ± 0.91 ?mol CO2/g wet sediment/day. However, when the same levels of inorganic nitrogen were added in the presence of 0.5% P w/w of oil (1.6 ?mol P/g wet sediment) maximum rates of measured CO2 production increased more than four-fold to 18.40 ± 1.04 ?mol CO2/g wet sediment/day. Ks and qmax estimates for inorganic N (in the form of sodium nitrate) when P was not limiting were 1.99 ± 0.86 ?mol/g wet sediment and 16.16 ± 1.28 ?mol CO2/g wet sediment/day respectively. The corresponding values for P were 63 ± 95 nmol/g wet sediment and 12.05 ± 1.31 ?mol CO2/g wet sediment/day. The qmax values with respect to N and P were not significantly different (P < 0.05). When N and P were not limiting Ks and qmax for crude oil were 4.52 ± 1.51 mg oil/g wet sediment and 16.89 ± 1.25 ?mol CO2/g wet sediment/day. At concentrations of inorganic N above 45 ?mol/g wet sediment inhibition of CO2 production from hydrocarbon degradation was evident. Analysis of bacterial 16S rRNA genes indicated that Alcanivorax spp. were selected in these marine sediments with increasing inorganic nutrient concentration, whereas Cycloclasticus spp. were more prevalent at lower inorganic nutrient concentrations. These data suggest that simple empirical estimates of the proportion of nutrients added relative to crude oil concentrations may not be sufficient to guarantee successful crude oil bioremediation in oxic beach sediments. The data we present also help define the maximum rates and hence timescales required for bioremediation of beach sediments.
Project description:Crude oil pollution of soil is a serious environmental issue, and bioremediation using plants and microorganisms is a natural and sustainable method for its restoration. Pot incubation of a two-factor randomized block (plants with two levels, and crude oil with three levels) was designed to investigate the rhizosphere bacterial community of Suaeda salsa (L.) Pall. Crude oil contamination of soil was studied at different levels: 2 g/kg (low), 4 g/kg (medium), and 6 g/kg (high) levels. In this study, the physicochemical properties of the collected rhizosphere soil were analyzed. Moreover, the soil bacteria were further identified using the 16S rRNA gene. The effects of S. salsa and crude oil and their interaction on the physiochemical properties of the soil and crude oil degradation were found to be significant. Crude oil significantly influenced the diversity and evenness of bacteria, while the effects of S. salsa and interaction with crude oil were not significant. Proteobacteria were found to be dominant at the phylum level. Meanwhile, at the genera level, Saccharibacteria and Alcanivorax increased significantly in the low and medium contamination treatment groups with S. salsa, whereas Saccharibacteria and Desulfuromonas were prevalent in the high contamination treatment group. High crude oil contamination led to a significant decrease in the bacterial diversity in soil, while the effects of S. salsa and its interaction were not significant. Despite the highest abundance of crude oil degradation bacteria, S. salsa reduced crude oil degradation bacteria and increased bacteria related to sulfur, phosphorus, and nitrogen cycling in the low and high contamination group, whereas the opposite effect was observed for the medium contamination treatment group. The abundance of most crude oil degradation bacteria is negatively correlated with crude oil content. Nitrogen cycling bacteria are sensitive to the total nitrogen, total phosphorus, ammonia nitrogen, and nitrate nitrogen, and pH of the soil. Sulfur cycling bacteria are sensitive to aromatic hydrocarbons, saturated hydrocarbons, and asphaltene in soil. This research is helpful for further studying the mechanism of synergistic degradation by S. salsa and bacteria.
Project description:Earlier observations in mangrove sediments of Goa, India have shown denitrification to be a major pathway for N loss. However, percentage of total nitrate transformed through complete denitrification accounted for <0-72% of the pore water nitrate reduced. Here, we show that up to 99% of nitrate removal in mangrove sediments is routed through dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA). The DNRA process was 2x higher at the relatively pristine site Tuvem compared to the anthropogenically-influenced Divar mangrove ecosystem. In systems receiving low extraneous nutrient inputs, this mechanism effectively conserves and re-circulates N minimizing nutrient loss that would otherwise occur through denitrification. In a global context, the occurrence of DNRA in mangroves has important implications for maintaining N levels and sustaining ecosystem productivity. For the first time, this study also highlights the significance of DNRA in buffering the climate by modulating the production of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide.