A benzene-degrading nitrate-reducing microbial consortium displays aerobic and anaerobic benzene degradation pathways

Siavash Atashgahi, Bastian Hornung, Marcelle J. Van Der Waals, Ulisses Nunes Da Rocha, Floor Hugenholtz, Bart Nijsse, Douwe Molenaar, Rob Van Spanning, Alfons J.M. Stams, Jan Gerritse, Hauke Smidt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In this study, we report transcription of genes involved in aerobic and anaerobic benzene degradation pathways in a benzene-degrading denitrifying continuous culture. Transcripts associated with the family Peptococcaceae dominated all samples (21-36% relative abundance) indicating their key role in the community. We found a highly transcribed gene cluster encoding a presumed anaerobic benzene carboxylase (AbcA and AbcD) and a benzoate-coenzyme A ligase (BzlA). Predicted gene products showed >96% amino acid identity and similar gene order to the corresponding benzene degradation gene cluster described previously, providing further evidence for anaerobic benzene activation via carboxylation. For subsequent benzoyl-CoA dearomatization, bam-like genes analogous to the ones found in other strict anaerobes were transcribed, whereas gene transcripts involved in downstream benzoyl-CoA degradation were mostly analogous to the ones described in facultative anaerobes. The concurrent transcription of genes encoding enzymes involved in oxygenase-mediated aerobic benzene degradation suggested oxygen presence in the culture, possibly formed via a recently identified nitric oxide dismutase (Nod). Although we were unable to detect transcription of Nod-encoding genes, addition of nitrite and formate to the continuous culture showed indication for oxygen production. Such an oxygen production would enable aerobic microbes to thrive in oxygen-depleted and nitrate-containing subsurface environments contaminated with hydrocarbons.

LanguageEnglish
Article number4490
Pages1-12
Number of pages12
JournalScientific Reports
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 14 Mar 2018

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Microbial Consortia
Benzene
Nitrates
Oxygen
Genes
formic acid
Multigene Family
Peptococcaceae
Nitric Oxide
Oxygenases
Gene Order
Nitrites
Hydrocarbons
Amino Acids
Enzymes

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Atashgahi, S., Hornung, B., Van Der Waals, M. J., Da Rocha, U. N., Hugenholtz, F., Nijsse, B., ... Smidt, H. (2018). A benzene-degrading nitrate-reducing microbial consortium displays aerobic and anaerobic benzene degradation pathways. Scientific Reports, 8(1), 1-12. [4490]. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-22617-x
Atashgahi, Siavash ; Hornung, Bastian ; Van Der Waals, Marcelle J. ; Da Rocha, Ulisses Nunes ; Hugenholtz, Floor ; Nijsse, Bart ; Molenaar, Douwe ; Van Spanning, Rob ; Stams, Alfons J.M. ; Gerritse, Jan ; Smidt, Hauke. / A benzene-degrading nitrate-reducing microbial consortium displays aerobic and anaerobic benzene degradation pathways. In: Scientific Reports. 2018 ; Vol. 8, No. 1. pp. 1-12
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Atashgahi, S, Hornung, B, Van Der Waals, MJ, Da Rocha, UN, Hugenholtz, F, Nijsse, B, Molenaar, D, Van Spanning, R, Stams, AJM, Gerritse, J & Smidt, H 2018, 'A benzene-degrading nitrate-reducing microbial consortium displays aerobic and anaerobic benzene degradation pathways' Scientific Reports, vol 8, no. 1, 4490, pp. 1-12. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-22617-x

A benzene-degrading nitrate-reducing microbial consortium displays aerobic and anaerobic benzene degradation pathways. / Atashgahi, Siavash; Hornung, Bastian; Van Der Waals, Marcelle J.; Da Rocha, Ulisses Nunes; Hugenholtz, Floor; Nijsse, Bart; Molenaar, Douwe; Van Spanning, Rob; Stams, Alfons J.M.; Gerritse, Jan; Smidt, Hauke.

In: Scientific Reports, Vol. 8, No. 1, 4490, 14.03.2018, p. 1-12.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Atashgahi S, Hornung B, Van Der Waals MJ, Da Rocha UN, Hugenholtz F, Nijsse B et al. A benzene-degrading nitrate-reducing microbial consortium displays aerobic and anaerobic benzene degradation pathways. Scientific Reports. 2018 Mar 14;8(1):1-12. 4490. Available from, DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-22617-x