Project description:Corrosion of iron occurring under anoxic conditions, which is termed microbiologically influenced corrosion (MIC) or biocorrosion, is mostly caused by microbial activities. Microbial activity that enhances corrosion via uptake of electrons from metallic iron [Fe(0)] has been regarded as one of the major causative factors. In addition to sulfate-reducing bacteria and methanogenic archaea in marine environments, acetogenic bacteria in freshwater environments have recently been suggested to cause MIC under anoxic conditions. However, no microorganisms that perform acetogenesis-dependent MIC have been isolated or had their MIC-inducing mechanisms characterized. Here, we enriched and isolated acetogenic bacteria that induce iron corrosion by utilizing Fe(0) as the sole electron donor under freshwater, sulfate-free, and anoxic conditions. The enriched communities produced significantly larger amounts of Fe(II) than the abiotic controls and produced acetate coupled with Fe(0) oxidation prior to CH4 production. Microbial community analysis revealed that Sporomusa sp. and Desulfovibrio sp. dominated in the enrichments. Strain GT1, which is closely related to the acetogen Sporomusa sphaeroides, was eventually isolated from the enrichment. Strain GT1 grew acetogenetically with Fe(0) as the sole electron donor and enhanced iron corrosion, which is the first demonstration of MIC mediated by a pure culture of an acetogen. Other well-known acetogenic bacteria, including Sporomusa ovata and Acetobacterium spp., did not grow well on Fe(0). These results indicate that very few species of acetogens have specific mechanisms to efficiently utilize cathodic electrons derived from Fe(0) oxidation and induce iron corrosion.
Project description:Pipelines transporting brackish subsurface water, used in the production of bitumen by steam-assisted gravity drainage, are subject to frequent corrosion failures despite the addition of the oxygen scavenger sodium bisulfite (SBS). Pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA genes was used to determine the microbial community composition for planktonic samples of transported water and for sessile samples of pipe-associated solids (PAS) scraped from pipeline cutouts representing corrosion failures. These were obtained from upstream (PAS-616P) and downstream (PAS-821TP and PAS-821LP, collected under rapid-flow and stagnant conditions, respectively) of the SBS injection point. Most transported water samples had a large fraction (1.8% to 97% of pyrosequencing reads) of Pseudomonas not found in sessile pipe samples. The sessile population of PAS-616P had methanogens (Methanobacteriaceae) as the main (56%) community component, whereas Deltaproteobacteria of the genera Desulfomicrobium and Desulfocapsa were not detected. In contrast, PAS-821TP and PAS-821LP had lower fractions (41% and 0.6%) of Methanobacteriaceae archaea but increased fractions of sulfate-reducing Desulfomicrobium (18% and 48%) and of bisulfite-disproportionating Desulfocapsa (35% and 22%) bacteria. Hence, SBS injection strongly changed the sessile microbial community populations. X-ray diffraction analysis of pipeline scale indicated that iron carbonate was present both upstream and downstream, whereas iron sulfide and sulfur were found only downstream of the SBS injection point, suggesting a contribution of the bisulfite-disproportionating and sulfate-reducing bacteria in the scale to iron corrosion. Incubation of iron coupons with pipeline waters indicated iron corrosion coupled to the formation of methane. Hence, both methanogenic and sulfidogenic microbial communities contributed to corrosion of pipelines transporting these brackish waters.
Project description:Anaerobic biodegradation of aromatic compounds under sulfate-reducing conditions is important to marine sediments. Sulfate respiration by a single bacterial strain and syntrophic metabolism by a syntrophic bacterial consortium are primary strategies for sulfate-dependent biodegradation of aromatic compounds. The objective of this study was to investigate the potential of conductive iron oxides to facilitate the degradation of aromatic compounds under sulfate-reducing conditions in marine sediments, using benzoate as a model aromatic compound. Here, in anaerobic incubations of sediments from the Pearl River Estuary, the addition of hematite or magnetite (20 mM as Fe atom) enhanced the rates of sulfate-dependent benzoate degradation by 81.8 and 91.5%, respectively, compared with control incubations without iron oxides. Further experiments demonstrated that the rate of sulfate-dependent benzoate degradation accelerated with increased magnetite concentration (5, 10, and 20 mM). The detection of acetate as an intermediate product implied syntrophic benzoate degradation pathway, which was also supported by the abundance of putative acetate- or/and H2-utilizing sulfate reducers from microbial community analysis. Microbial reduction of iron oxides under sulfate-reducing conditions only accounted for 2-11% of electrons produced by benzoate oxidation, thus the stimulatory effect of conductive iron oxides on sulfate-dependent benzoate degradation was not mainly due to an increased pool of terminal electron acceptors. The enhanced rates of syntrophic benzoate degradation by the presence of conductive iron oxides probably resulted from the establishment of a direct interspecies electron transfer (DIET) between syntrophic partners. In the presence of magnetite, Bacteroidetes and Desulfobulbaceae with potential function of extracellular electron transfer might be involved in syntrophic benzoate degradation. Results from this study will contribute to the development of new strategies for in situ bioremediation of anaerobic sediments contaminated with aromatic compounds, and provide a new perspective for the natural attenuation of aromatic compounds in iron-rich marine sediments.
Project description:Currently, sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) is regarded as the main culprit of microbiologically influenced corrosion (MIC), mainly due to the low reported corrosion rates of other microorganisms. For example, the highest reported corrosion rate for methanogens is 0.065 mm/yr. However, by investigating methanogen-induced microbiologically influenced corrosion (Mi-MIC) using an in-house developed versatile multiport flow test column, extremely high corrosion rates were observed. We analyzed a large set of carbon steel beads, which were sectionally embedded into the test columns as substrates for iron-utilizing methanogen Methanobacterium IM1. After 14 days of operation using glass beads as fillers for section separation, the highest average corrosion rate of Methanobacterium IM1 was 0.2 mm/yr, which doubled that of Desulfovibrio ferrophilus IS5 and Desulfovibrio alaskensis 16109 investigated at the same conditions. At the most corroded region, nearly 80% of the beads lost 1% of their initial weight (fast-corrosion), resulting in an average corrosion rate of 0.2 mm/yr for Methanobacterium IM1-treated columns. When sand was used as filler material to mimic sediment conditions, average corrosion rates for Methanobacterium IM1 increased to 0.3 mm/yr (maximum 0.52 mm/yr) with over 83% of the beads having corrosion rates above 0.3 mm/yr. Scanning electron images of metal coupons extracted from the column showed methanogenic cells were clustered close to the metal surface. Methanobacterium IM1 is a hydrogenotrophic methanogen with higher affinity to metal than H2. Unlike SRB, Methanobacterium IM1 is not restricted to the availability of sulfate concentration in the environment. Thus, the use of the multiport flow column provided a new insight on the corrosion potential of methanogens, particularly in dynamic conditions, that offers new opportunities for monitoring and development of mitigation strategies. Overall, this study shows (1) under certain conditions methanogenic archaea can cause higher corrosion than SRB, (2) specific quantifications, i.e., maximum, average, and minimum corrosion rates can be determined, and (3) that spatial statistical evaluations of MIC can be carried out.
Project description:About a century ago, researchers first recognized a connection between the activity of environmental microorganisms and cases of anaerobic iron corrosion. Since then, such microbially influenced corrosion (MIC) has gained prominence and its technical and economic implications are now widely recognized. Under anoxic conditions (e.g., in oil and gas pipelines), sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) are commonly considered the main culprits of MIC. This perception largely stems from three recurrent observations. First, anoxic sulfate-rich environments (e.g., anoxic seawater) are particularly corrosive. Second, SRB and their characteristic corrosion product iron sulfide are ubiquitously associated with anaerobic corrosion damage, and third, no other physiological group produces comparably severe corrosion damage in laboratory-grown pure cultures. However, there remain many open questions as to the underlying mechanisms and their relative contributions to corrosion. On the one hand, SRB damage iron constructions indirectly through a corrosive chemical agent, hydrogen sulfide, formed by the organisms as a dissimilatory product from sulfate reduction with organic compounds or hydrogen ("chemical microbially influenced corrosion"; CMIC). On the other hand, certain SRB can also attack iron via withdrawal of electrons ("electrical microbially influenced corrosion"; EMIC), viz., directly by metabolic coupling. Corrosion of iron by SRB is typically associated with the formation of iron sulfides (FeS) which, paradoxically, may reduce corrosion in some cases while they increase it in others. This brief review traces the historical twists in the perception of SRB-induced corrosion, considering the presently most plausible explanations as well as possible early misconceptions in the understanding of severe corrosion in anoxic, sulfate-rich environments.
Project description:Long-chain fatty acids (LCFA) are common contaminants in municipal and industrial wastewater that can be converted anaerobically to methane. A low hydrogen partial pressure is required for LCFA degradation by anaerobic bacteria, requiring the establishment of syntrophic relationships with hydrogenotrophic methanogens. However, high LCFA loads can inhibit methanogens, hindering biodegradation. Because it has been suggested that anaerobic degradation of these compounds may be enhanced by the presence of alternative electron acceptors, such as iron, we investigated the effect of sub-stoichiometric amounts of Fe(III) on oleate (C18:1 LCFA) degradation by suspended and granular methanogenic sludge. Fe(III) accelerated oleate biodegradation and hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis in the assays with suspended sludge, with H2-consuming methanogens coexisting with iron-reducing bacteria. On the other hand, acetoclastic methanogenesis was delayed by Fe(III). These effects were less evident with granular sludge, possibly due to its higher initial methanogenic activity relative to suspended sludge. Enrichments with close-to-stoichiometric amounts of Fe(III) resulted in a microbial community mainly composed of Geobacter, Syntrophomonas, and Methanobacterium genera, with relative abundances of 83-89%, 3-6%, and 0.2-10%, respectively. In these enrichments, oleate was biodegraded to acetate and coupled to iron-reduction and methane production, revealing novel microbial interactions between syntrophic LCFA-degrading bacteria, iron-reducing bacteria, and methanogens.
Project description:Recent studies have shown that interspecies electron transfer between chemoheterotrophic bacteria and methanogenic archaea can be mediated by electric currents flowing through conductive iron oxides, a process termed electric syntrophy. In this study, we conducted enrichment experiments with methanogenic microbial communities from rice paddy soil in the presence of ferrihydrite and/or sulfate to determine whether electric syntrophy could be enabled by biogenic iron sulfides. Although supplementation with either ferrihydrite or sulfate alone suppressed methanogenesis, supplementation with both ferrihydrite and sulfate enhanced methanogenesis. In the presence of sulfate, ferrihydrite was transformed into black precipitates consisting mainly of poorly crystalline iron sulfides. Microbial community analysis revealed that a methanogenic archaeon and iron- and sulfate-reducing bacteria (Methanosarcina, Geobacter, and Desulfotomaculum, respectively) predominated in the enrichment culture supplemented with both ferrihydrite and sulfate. Addition of an inhibitor specific for methanogenic archaea decreased the abundance of Geobacter, but not Desulfotomaculum, indicating that Geobacter acquired energy via syntrophic interaction with methanogenic archaea. Although electron acceptor compounds such as sulfate and iron oxides have been thought to suppress methanogenesis, this study revealed that coexistence of sulfate and iron oxide can promote methanogenesis by biomineralization of (semi)conductive iron sulfides that enable methanogenesis via electric syntrophy.
Project description:Biotransformation of soybean biodiesel and its biodiesel/petrodiesel blends were investigated under sulfate-reducing conditions. Three blends of biodiesel, B100, B50, and B0, were treated using microbial cultures pre-acclimated to B100 (biodiesel only) and B80 (80% biodiesel and 20% petrodiesel). Results indicate that the biodiesel could be effectively biodegraded in the presence or absence of petrodiesel, whereas petrodiesel could not be biodegraded at all under sulfate-reducing conditions. The kinetics of biodegradation of individual Fatty Acid Methyl Ester (FAME) compounds and their accompanying sulfate-reduction rates were studied using a serum bottle test. As for the biodegradation of individual FAME compounds, the biodegradation rates for the saturated FAMEs decreased with increasing carbon chain length. For unsaturated FAMEs, biodegradation rates increased with increasing number of double bonds. The presence of petrodiesel had a greater effect on the rate of biodegradation of biodiesel than on the extent of removal.
Project description:Benzylsuccinate synthase (BSS) initiates anaerobic toluene biodegradation, and BSS genes have been found in several nitrate- and iron-reducing organisms. Here, two new putative bssA genes were identified in a methanogenic toluene-degrading culture. Transcription was upregulated with toluene but not with benzoate, consistent with the proposed function. These are the first bss sequences from a methanogenic culture.
Project description:Current knowledge on the biochemical mechanisms underlying microbial steroid metabolism in anaerobic ecosystems is extremely limited. Sulfate, nitrate, and iron [Fe (III)] are common electron acceptors for anaerobes in estuarine sediments. Here, we investigated anaerobic testosterone metabolism in anaerobic sediments collected from the estuary of Tamsui River, Taiwan. The anaerobic sediment samples were spiked with testosterone (1 mM) and individual electron acceptors (10 mM), including nitrate, Fe3+, and sulfate. The analysis of androgen metabolites indicated that testosterone biodegradation under denitrifying conditions proceeds through the 2,3-seco pathway, whereas testosterone biodegradation under iron-reducing conditions may proceed through an unidentified alternative pathway. Metagenomic analysis and PCR-based functional assays suggested that Thauera spp. were the major testosterone degraders in estuarine sediment samples incubated with testosterone and nitrate. Thauera sp. strain GDN1, a testosterone-degrading betaproteobacterium, was isolated from the denitrifying sediment sample. This strain tolerates a broad range of salinity (0-30 ppt). Although testosterone biodegradation did not occur under sulfate-reducing conditions, we observed the anaerobic biotransformation of testosterone to estrogens in some testosterone-spiked sediment samples. This is unprecedented since biotransformation of androgens to estrogens is known to occur only under oxic conditions. Our metagenomic analysis suggested that Clostridium spp. might play a role in this anaerobic biotransformation. These results expand our understanding of microbial metabolism of steroids under strictly anoxic conditions.