Project description:Despite the significance of biogenic methane generation in coal beds, there has never been a systematic long-term evaluation of the ecological response to biostimulation for enhanced methanogenesis in situ. Biostimulation tests in a gas-free coal seam were analysed over 1.5 years encompassing methane production, cell abundance, planktonic and surface associated community composition and chemical parameters of the coal formation water. Evidence is presented that sulfate reducing bacteria are energy limited whilst methanogenic archaea are nutrient limited. Methane production was highest in a nutrient amended well after an oxic preincubation phase to enhance coal biofragmentation (calcium peroxide amendment). Compound-specific isotope analyses indicated the predominance of acetoclastic methanogenesis. Acetoclastic methanogenic archaea of the Methanosaeta and Methanosarcina genera increased with methane concentration. Acetate was the main precursor for methanogenesis, however more acetate was consumed than methane produced in an acetate amended well. DNA stable isotope probing showed incorporation of 13C-labelled acetate into methanogenic archaea, Geobacter species and sulfate reducing bacteria. Community characterisation of coal surfaces confirmed that methanogenic archaea make up a substantial proportion of coal associated biofilm communities. Ultimately, methane production from a gas-free subbituminous coal seam was stimulated despite high concentrations of sulfate and sulfate-reducing bacteria in the coal formation water. These findings provide a new conceptual framework for understanding the coal reservoir biosphere.
Project description:The dissimilatory reduction of sulfate is an ancient metabolic process central to today's biogeochemical cycling of sulfur and carbon in marine sediments. Until now its polyphyletic distribution was most parsimoniously explained by multiple horizontal transfers of single genes rather than by a not-yet-identified "metabolic island." Here we provide evidence that the horizontal transfer of a gene cluster may indeed be responsible for the patchy distribution of sulfate-reducing prokaryotes (SRP) in the phylogenetic tree. We isolated three DNA fragments (32 to 41 kb) from uncultured, closely related SRP from DNA directly extracted from two distinct marine sediments. Fosmid ws39f7, and partially also fosmids ws7f8 and hr42c9, harbored a core set of essential genes for the dissimilatory reduction of sulfate, including enzymes for the reduction of sulfur intermediates and synthesis of the prosthetic group of the dissimilatory sulfite reductase. Genome comparisons suggest that encoded membrane proteins universally present among SRP are critical for electron transfer to cytoplasmic enzymes. In addition, novel, conserved hypothetical proteins that are likely involved in dissimilatory sulfate reduction were identified. Based on comparative genomics and previously published experimental evidence, a more comprehensive model of dissimilatory sulfate reduction is presented. The observed clustering of genes involved in dissimilatory sulfate reduction has not been previously found. These findings strongly support the hypothesis that genes responsible for dissimilatory sulfate reduction were concomitantly transferred in a single event among prokaryotes. The acquisition of an optimized gene set would enormously facilitate a successful implementation of a novel pathway.
Project description:The problems of acid mine drainage (AMD) in coal mine acidic wastewaters arise from a range of sources, including severe pollution with heavy metals and SO42- and difficulties during treatment. Based on the ability of Maifan stone to adsorb heavy metals and the dissimilatory reduction of SO42- by sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB), Maifan stone-sulfate-reducing bacterium-immobilized particles were prepared via immobilization techniques using Shandong Maifan stone as the experimental material. The effects of Maifan stones containing SRB on mitigating AMD were investigated by constructing Dynamic Column 1 with Maifan stone-sulfate-reducing bacterium-immobilized particles and by constructing Dynamic Column 2 with SRB mixed with Maifan stones. By the use of adsorption isotherms, adsorption kinetics, a reduction kinetics model and X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) studies, the mechanism by which Maifan stone-sulfate-reducing bacterium-immobilized particles mitigate AMD was revealed. The results showed that the total effect of Maifan stone-sulfate-reducing bacterium-immobilized particles on AMD was better than that of biological Maifan stone carriers. The highest rates for the removal of Fe2+, Mn2+, and SO42- in AMD were 90.51%, 85.75% and 93.61%, respectively, and the pH value of the wastewater increased from 4.08 to 7.64. The isotherms for the adsorption of Fe2+ and Mn2+ on Maifan stone-sulfate-reducing bacterium-immobilized particles conformed to the output of the Langmuir model. The adsorption kinetics were in accordance with Lagergren first-order kinetics, and the kinetics for the reduction of SO42- conformed to those of a first-order reaction model.
Project description:Sulfur cycling is primarily driven by sulfate reduction mediated by sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) in marine sediments. The dissimilatory sulfate reduction drives the production of enormous quantities of reduced sulfide and thereby the formation of highly insoluble metal sulfides in marine sediments. Here, a novel sulfate-reducing bacterium designated <i>Pseudodesulfovibrio cashew</i> SRB007 was isolated and purified from the deep-sea cold seep and proposed to represent a novel species in the genus of <i>Pseudodesulfovibrio</i>. A detailed description of the phenotypic traits, phylogenetic status and central metabolisms of strain SRB007 allowed the reconstruction of the metabolic potential and lifestyle of a novel member of deep-sea SRB. Notably, <i>P. cashew</i> SRB007 showed a strong ability to resist and remove different heavy metal ions including Co<sup>2+</sup>, Ni<sup>2+</sup>, Cd<sup>2+</sup> and Hg<sup>2+</sup>. The dissimilatory sulfate reduction was demonstrated to contribute to the prominent removal capability of <i>P. cashew</i> SRB007 against different heavy metals via the formation of insoluble metal sulfides.
Project description:A unique community of bacteria colonizes the dorsal integument of the polychaete annelid Alvinella pompejana, which inhabits the high-temperature environments of active deep-sea hydrothermal vents along the East Pacific Rise. The composition of this bacterial community was characterized in previous studies by using a 16S rRNA gene clone library and in situ hybridization with oligonucleotide probes. In the present study, a pair of PCR primers (P94-F and P93-R) were used to amplify a segment of the dissimilatory bisulfite reductase gene from DNA isolated from the community of bacteria associated with A. pompejana. The goal was to assess the presence and diversity of bacteria with the capacity to use sulfate as a terminal electron acceptor. A clone library of bisulfite reductase gene PCR products was constructed and characterized by restriction fragment and sequence analysis. Eleven clone families were identified. Two of the 11 clone families, SR1 and SR6, contained 82% of the clones. DNA sequence analysis of a clone from each family indicated that they are dissimilatory bisulfite reductase genes most similar to the dissimilatory bisulfite reductase genes of Desulfovibrio vulgaris, Desulfovibrio gigas, Desulfobacterium autotrophicum, and Desulfobacter latus. Similarities to the dissimilatory bisulfite reductases of Thermodesulfovibrio yellowstonii, the sulfide oxidizer Chromatium vinosum, the sulfur reducer Pyrobaculum islandicum, and the archaeal sulfate reducer Archaeoglobus fulgidus were lower. Phylogenetic analysis separated the clone families into groups that probably represent two genera of previously uncharacterized sulfate-reducing bacteria. The presence of dissimilatory bisulfite reductase genes is consistent with recent temperature and chemical measurements that documented a lack of dissolved oxygen in dwelling tubes of the worm. The diversity of dissimilatory bisulfite reductase genes in the bacterial community on the back of the worm suggests a prominent role for anaerobic sulfate-reducing bacteria in the ecology of A. pompejana.
Project description:Elucidating the in situ metabolic activity of phylogenetically diverse populations of sulfate-reducing microorganisms that populate anoxic sedimentary environments is key to understanding subsurface ecology. Previous pure culture studies have demonstrated that the transcript abundance of dissimilatory (bi)sulfite reductase genes is correlated with the sulfate-reducing activity of individual cells. To evaluate whether expression of these genes was diagnostic for subsurface communities, dissimilatory (bi)sulfite reductase gene transcript abundance in phylogenetically distinct sulfate-reducing populations was quantified during a field experiment in which acetate was added to uranium-contaminated groundwater. Analysis of dsrAB sequences prior to the addition of acetate indicated that Desulfobacteraceae, Desulfobulbaceae, and Syntrophaceae-related sulfate reducers were the most abundant. Quantifying dsrB transcripts of the individual populations suggested that Desulfobacteraceae initially had higher dsrB transcripts per cell than Desulfobulbaceae or Syntrophaceae populations and that the activity of Desulfobacteraceae increased further when the metabolism of dissimilatory metal reducers competing for the added acetate declined. In contrast, dsrB transcript abundance in Desulfobulbaceae and Syntrophaceae remained relatively constant, suggesting a lack of stimulation by added acetate. The indication of higher sulfate-reducing activity in the Desulfobacteraceae was consistent with the finding that Desulfobacteraceae became the predominant component of the sulfate-reducing community. Discontinuing acetate additions resulted in a decline in dsrB transcript abundance in the Desulfobacteraceae. These results suggest that monitoring transcripts of dissimilatory (bi)sulfite reductase genes in distinct populations of sulfate reducers can provide insight into the relative rates of metabolism of different components of the sulfate-reducing community and their ability to respond to environmental perturbations.
Project description:Sulfate-rich mine water must be treated before it is released into natural water bodies. We tested ethanol as substrate in bioreactors designed for biological sulfate removal from mine water containing up to 9 g L-1 sulfate, using granular sludge from an industrial waste water treatment plant as inoculum. The pH, redox potential, and sulfate and sulfide concentrations were measured twice a week over a maximum of 171 days. The microbial communities in the bioreactors were characterized by qPCR and high throughput amplicon sequencing. The pH in the bioreactors fluctuated between 5.0 and 7.7 with the highest amount of up to 50% sulfate removed measured around pH 6. Dissimilatory sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) constituted only between 1% and 15% of the bacterial communities. Predicted bacterial metagenomes indicated a high prevalence of assimilatory sulfate reduction proceeding to formation of l-cystein and acetate, assimilatory and dissimilatory nitrate reduction, denitrification, and oxidation of ethanol to acetaldehyde with further conversion to ethanolamine, but not to acetate. Despite efforts to maintain optimal conditions for biological sulfate reduction in the bioreactors, only a small part of the microorganisms were SRB. The microbial communities were highly diverse, containing bacteria, archaea, and fungi, all of which affected the overall microbial processes in the bioreactors. While it is important to monitor specific physicochemical parameters in bioreactors, molecular assessment of the microbial communities may serve as a tool to identify biological factors affecting bioreactor functions and to optimize physicochemical attributes for ideal bioreactor performance.
Project description:The past decade of scientific ocean drilling has revealed seemingly ubiquitous, slow-growing microbial life within a range of deep biosphere habitats. Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Expedition 337 expanded these studies by successfully coring Miocene-aged coal beds 2 km below the seafloor hypothesized to be "hot spots" for microbial life. To characterize the activity of coal-associated microorganisms from this site, a series of stable isotope probing (SIP) experiments were conducted using intact pieces of coal and overlying shale incubated at in situ temperatures (45 °C). The 30-month SIP incubations were amended with deuterated water as a passive tracer for growth and different combinations of 13C- or 15N-labeled methanol, methylamine, and ammonium added at low (micromolar) concentrations to investigate methylotrophy in the deep subseafloor biosphere. Although the cell densities were low (50-2,000 cells per cubic centimeter), bulk geochemical measurements and single-cell-targeted nanometer-scale secondary ion mass spectrometry demonstrated active metabolism of methylated substrates by the thermally adapted microbial assemblage, with differing substrate utilization profiles between coal and shale incubations. The conversion of labeled methylamine and methanol was predominantly through heterotrophic processes, with only minor stimulation of methanogenesis. These findings were consistent with in situ and incubation 16S rRNA gene surveys. Microbial growth estimates in the incubations ranged from several months to over 100 y, representing some of the slowest direct measurements of environmental microbial biosynthesis rates. Collectively, these data highlight a small, but viable, deep coal bed biosphere characterized by extremely slow-growing heterotrophs that can utilize a diverse range of carbon and nitrogen substrates.
Project description:Microbial cells buried in subseafloor sediments comprise a substantial portion of Earth's biosphere and control global biogeochemical cycles; however, the rate at which they use energy (i.e., power) is virtually unknown. Here, we quantify organic matter degradation and calculate the power utilization of microbial cells throughout Earth's Quaternary-age subseafloor sediments. Aerobic respiration, sulfate reduction, and methanogenesis mediate 6.9, 64.5, and 28.6% of global subseafloor organic matter degradation, respectively. The total power utilization of the subseafloor sediment biosphere is 37.3 gigawatts, less than 0.1% of the power produced in the marine photic zone. Aerobic heterotrophs use the largest share of global power (54.5%) with a median power utilization of 2.23 × 10<sup>-18</sup> watts per cell, while sulfate reducers and methanogens use 1.08 × 10<sup>-19</sup> and 1.50 × 10<sup>-20</sup> watts per cell, respectively. Most subseafloor cells subsist at energy fluxes lower than have previously been shown to support life, calling into question the power limit to life.
Project description:Sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) are widespread in various ecotopes despite their growth and enzymatic features not compared. In this study, the enzymatic parameters of ATP sulfurylase in cell-free extracts of sulfate-reducing bacteria isolated from various ecotopes such as soils, corrosion products and human large intestine were determined. Comparative analysis of both enzyme characteristics and growth parameters were carried out and similar research has not been reported yet. The initial and maximum rates of enzymatic reaction catalyzed by ATP sulfurylase were significantly different (<i>p</i>?<?0.05) in the bacterial strains isolated from various environmental ecotopes. The specific activity of this enzyme in sulfate-reducing bacteria was determined for corrosive and intestinal strains 0.98-1.56 and 0.98-2.26 U?×?mg<sup>-1</sup> protein, respectively. The Michaelis constants were 1.55-2.29 mM for corrosive and 2.93-3.13 mM for intestinal strains and the affinity range were demonstrated. Based on cluster analysis, the parameters of physiological and biochemical characteristics of sulfate-reducing bacteria from different ecotopes are divided into 3 clusters corresponding to the location of their isolation (soils, heating systems and human intestine). Understanding the enzymatic parameters of the initial stages of sulfate consumption in the process of dissimilatory sulfate reduction will allow the development of effective methods for controlling the production of toxic metabolites, including hydrogen sulfide.