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Selective Enrichment Yields Robust Ethene-Producing Dechlorinating Cultures from Microcosms Stalled at cis-Dichloroethene

Description

Dehalococcoides mccartyi strains are of particular importance for bioremediation due to their unique capability of transforming perchloroethene (PCE) and trichloroethene (TCE) to non-toxic ethene, through the intermediates cis-dichloroethene (cis-DCE) and

Dehalococcoides mccartyi strains are of particular importance for bioremediation due to their unique capability of transforming perchloroethene (PCE) and trichloroethene (TCE) to non-toxic ethene, through the intermediates cis-dichloroethene (cis-DCE) and vinyl chloride (VC). Despite the widespread environmental distribution of Dehalococcoides, biostimulation sometimes fails to promote dechlorination beyond cis-DCE. In our study, microcosms established with garden soil and mangrove sediment also stalled at cis-DCE, albeit Dehalococcoides mccartyi containing the reductive dehalogenase genes tceA, vcrA and bvcA were detected in the soil/sediment inocula. Reductive dechlorination was not promoted beyond cis-DCE, even after multiple biostimulation events with fermentable substrates and a lengthy incubation. However, transfers from microcosms stalled at cis-DCE yielded dechlorination to ethene with subsequent enrichment cultures containing up to 10[superscript 9] Dehalococcoides mccartyi cells mL[superscript −1]. Proteobacterial classes which dominated the soil/sediment communities became undetectable in the enrichments, and methanogenic activity drastically decreased after the transfers. We hypothesized that biostimulation of Dehalococcoides in the cis-DCE-stalled microcosms was impeded by other microbes present at higher abundances than Dehalococcoides and utilizing terminal electron acceptors from the soil/sediment, hence, outcompeting Dehalococcoides for H[subscript 2]. In support of this hypothesis, we show that garden soil and mangrove sediment microcosms bioaugmented with their respective cultures containing Dehalococcoides in high abundance were able to compete for H[subscript 2] for reductive dechlorination from one biostimulation event and produced ethene with no obvious stall. Overall, our results provide an alternate explanation to consolidate conflicting observations on the ubiquity of Dehalococcoides mccartyi and occasional stalling of dechlorination at cis-DCE; thus, bringing a new perspective to better assess biological potential of different environments and to understand microbial interactions governing bioremediation.

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Date Created
  • 2014-06-20

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Impact of Ammonium on Syntrophic Organohalide-Respiring and Fermenting Microbial Communities

Description

Syntrophic interactions between organohalide-respiring and fermentative microorganisms are critical for effective bioremediation of halogenated compounds. This work investigated the effect of ammonium concentration (up to 4 g liter[superscript −1] NH4+-N)

Syntrophic interactions between organohalide-respiring and fermentative microorganisms are critical for effective bioremediation of halogenated compounds. This work investigated the effect of ammonium concentration (up to 4 g liter[superscript −1] NH4+-N) on trichloroethene-reducing Dehalococcoides mccartyi and Geobacteraceae in microbial communities fed lactate and methanol. We found that production of ethene by D. mccartyi occurred in mineral medium containing ≤2 g liter[superscript −1] NH4+-N and in landfill leachate. For the partial reduction of trichloroethene (TCE) to cis-dichloroethene (cis-DCE) at ≥1 g liter[superscript −1] NH4+-N, organohalide-respiring dynamics shifted from D. mccartyi and Geobacteraceae to mainly D. mccartyi. An increasing concentration of ammonium was coupled to lower metabolic rates, longer lag times, and lower gene abundances for all microbial processes studied. The methanol fermentation pathway to acetate and H[subscript 2] was conserved, regardless of the ammonium concentration provided. However, lactate fermentation shifted from propionic to acetogenic at concentrations of ≥2 g liter[superscript −1] NH4+-N. Our study findings strongly support a tolerance of D. mccartyi to high ammonium concentrations, highlighting the feasibility of organohalide respiration in ammonium-contaminated subsurface environments.

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Date Created
  • 2016-04-20

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Genomes of Geoalkalibacter ferrihydriticus Z-0531T and Geoalkalibacter subterraneus Red1T, Two Haloalkaliphilic Metal-Reducing Deltaproteobacteria

Description

We sequenced and annotated genomes of two haloalkaliphilic Deltaproteobacteria, Geoalkalibacter ferrihydriticus Z-0531[superscript T] (DSM 17813) and Geoalkalibacter subterraneus Red1[superscript T] (DSM 23483). During assembly, we discovered that the DSMZ stock

We sequenced and annotated genomes of two haloalkaliphilic Deltaproteobacteria, Geoalkalibacter ferrihydriticus Z-0531[superscript T] (DSM 17813) and Geoalkalibacter subterraneus Red1[superscript T] (DSM 23483). During assembly, we discovered that the DSMZ stock culture of G. subterraneus was contaminated. We reisolated G. subterraneus in axenic culture and redeposited it in DSMZ and JCM.

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Date Created
  • 2015-03-12

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Generation of High Current Densities by Pure Cultures of Anode-Respiring Geoalkalibacter spp. under Alkaline and Saline Conditions in Microbial Electrochemical Cells

Description

Anode-respiring bacteria (ARB) generate electric current in microbial electrochemical cells (MXCs) by channeling electrons from the oxidation of organic substrates to an electrode. Production of high current densities by monocultures

Anode-respiring bacteria (ARB) generate electric current in microbial electrochemical cells (MXCs) by channeling electrons from the oxidation of organic substrates to an electrode. Production of high current densities by monocultures in MXCs has resulted almost exclusively from the activity of Geobacter sulfurreducens, a neutrophilic freshwater Fe(III)-reducing bacterium and the highest-current-producing member documented for the Geobacteraceae family of the Deltaproteobacteria. Here we report high current densities generated by haloalkaliphilic Geoalkalibacter spp., thus broadening the capability for high anode respiration rates by including other genera within the Geobacteraceae. In this study, acetate-fed pure cultures of two related Geoalkalibacter spp. produced current densities of 5.0 to 8.3 and 2.4 to 3.3 A m[superscript −2] under alkaline (pH 9.3) and saline (1.7% NaCl) conditions, respectively. Chronoamperometric studies of halophilic Glk. subterraneus DSM 23483 and alkaliphilic Glk. ferrihydriticus DSM 17813 suggested that cells performed long-range electron transfer through electrode-attached biofilms and not through soluble electron shuttles. Glk. ferrihydriticus also oxidized ethanol directly to produce current, with maximum current densities of 5.7 to 7.1 A m[superscript −2] and coulombic efficiencies of 84 to 95%. Cyclic voltammetry (CV) elicited a sigmoidal response with characteristic onset, midpoint, and saturation potentials, while CV performed in the absence of an electron donor suggested the involvement of redox molecules in the biofilm that were limited by diffusion. These results matched those previously reported for actively respiring Gb. sulfurreducens biofilms producing similar current densities (~5 to 9 A m[superscript −2]).

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Date Created
  • 2013-04-30

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Insights into Butyrate Production in a Controlled Fermentation System via Gene Predictions

Description

Butyrate is a common fatty acid produced in important fermentative systems, such as the human/animal gut and other H[subscript 2] production systems. Despite its importance, there is little information on

Butyrate is a common fatty acid produced in important fermentative systems, such as the human/animal gut and other H[subscript 2] production systems. Despite its importance, there is little information on the partnerships between butyrate producers and other bacteria. The objective of this work was to uncover butyrate-producing microbial communities and possible metabolic routes in a controlled fermentation system aimed at butyrate production. The butyrogenic reactor was operated at 37°C and pH 5.5 with a hydraulic retention time of 31 h and a low hydrogen partial pressure (PH[subscript 2]). High-throughput sequencing and metagenome functional prediction from 16S rRNA data showed that butyrate production pathways and microbial communities were different during batch (closed) and continuous-mode operation. Lactobacillaceae, Lachnospiraceae, and Enterococcaceae were the most abundant phylotypes in the closed system without PH[subscript 2] control, whereas Prevotellaceae, Ruminococcaceae, and Actinomycetaceae were the most abundant phylotypes under continuous operation at low PH[subscript 2]. Putative butyrate producers identified in our system were from Prevotellaceae, Clostridiaceae, Ruminococcaceae, and Lactobacillaceae. Metagenome prediction analysis suggests that nonbutyrogenic microorganisms influenced butyrate production by generating butyrate precursors such as acetate, lactate, and succinate. 16S rRNA gene analysis suggested that, in the reactor, a partnership between identified butyrogenic microorganisms and succinate (i.e., Actinomycetaceae), acetate (i.e., Ruminococcaceae and Actinomycetaceae), and lactate producers (i.e., Ruminococcaceae and Lactobacillaceae) took place under continuous-flow operation at low PH[subscript 2].

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Date Created
  • 2017-07-18

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Gut bacteria in children with autism spectrum disorders: challenges and promise of studying how a complex community influences a complex disease

Description

Recent studies suggest a role for the microbiota in autism spectrum disorders (ASD), potentially arising from their role in modulating the immune system and gastrointestinal (GI) function or from gut–brain

Recent studies suggest a role for the microbiota in autism spectrum disorders (ASD), potentially arising from their role in modulating the immune system and gastrointestinal (GI) function or from gut–brain interactions dependent or independent from the immune system. GI problems such as chronic constipation and/or diarrhea are common in children with ASD, and significantly worsen their behavior and their quality of life. Here we first summarize previously published data supporting that GI dysfunction is common in individuals with ASD and the role of the microbiota in ASD. Second, by comparing with other publically available microbiome datasets, we provide some evidence that the shifted microbiota can be a result of westernization and that this shift could also be framing an altered immune system. Third, we explore the possibility that gut–brain interactions could also be a direct result of microbially produced metabolites.

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Date Created
  • 2015-03-12

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Approaches to studying and manipulating the enteric microbiome to improve autism symptoms

Description

There is a growing body of scientific evidence that the health of the microbiome (the trillions of microbes that inhabit the human host) plays an important role in maintaining the

There is a growing body of scientific evidence that the health of the microbiome (the trillions of microbes that inhabit the human host) plays an important role in maintaining the health of the host and that disruptions in the microbiome may play a role in certain disease processes. An increasing number of research studies have provided evidence that the composition of the gut (enteric) microbiome (GM) in at least a subset of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) deviates from what is usually observed in typically developing individuals. There are several lines of research that suggest that specific changes in the GM could be causative or highly associated with driving core and associated ASD symptoms, pathology, and comorbidities which include gastrointestinal symptoms, although it is also a possibility that these changes, in whole or in part, could be a consequence of underlying pathophysiological features associated with ASD. However, if the GM truly plays a causative role in ASD, then the manipulation of the GM could potentially be leveraged as a therapeutic approach to improve ASD symptoms and/or comorbidities, including gastrointestinal symptoms. One approach to investigating this possibility in greater detail includes a highly controlled clinical trial in which the GM is systematically manipulated to determine its significance in individuals with ASD. To outline the important issues that would be required to design such a study, a group of clinicians, research scientists, and parents of children with ASD participated in an interdisciplinary daylong workshop as an extension of the 1st International Symposium on the Microbiome in Health and Disease with a Special Focus on Autism (www.microbiome-autism.com). The group considered several aspects of designing clinical studies, including clinical trial design, treatments that could potentially be used in a clinical trial, appropriate ASD participants for the clinical trial, behavioral and cognitive assessments, important biomarkers, safety concerns, and ethical considerations. Overall, the group not only felt that this was a promising area of research for the ASD population and a promising avenue for potential treatment but also felt that further basic and translational research was needed to clarify the clinical utility of such treatments and to elucidate possible mechanisms responsible for a clinical response, so that new treatments and approaches may be discovered and/or fostered in the future.

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Date Created
  • 2015-05-07

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Microbiota Transfer Therapy alters gut ecosystem and improves gastrointestinal and autism symptoms: an open-label study

Description

Background
Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are complex neurobiological disorders that impair social interactions and communication and lead to restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests, and activities. The causes

Background
Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are complex neurobiological disorders that impair social interactions and communication and lead to restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests, and activities. The causes of these disorders remain poorly understood, but gut microbiota, the 1013 bacteria in the human intestines, have been implicated because children with ASD often suffer gastrointestinal (GI) problems that correlate with ASD severity. Several previous studies have reported abnormal gut bacteria in children with ASD. The gut microbiome-ASD connection has been tested in a mouse model of ASD, where the microbiome was mechanistically linked to abnormal metabolites and behavior. Similarly, a study of children with ASD found that oral non-absorbable antibiotic treatment improved GI and ASD symptoms, albeit temporarily. Here, a small open-label clinical trial evaluated the impact of Microbiota Transfer Therapy (MTT) on gut microbiota composition and GI and ASD symptoms of 18 ASD-diagnosed children.
Results
MTT involved a 2-week antibiotic treatment, a bowel cleanse, and then an extended fecal microbiota transplant (FMT) using a high initial dose followed by daily and lower maintenance doses for 7–8 weeks. The Gastrointestinal Symptom Rating Scale revealed an approximately 80% reduction of GI symptoms at the end of treatment, including significant improvements in symptoms of constipation, diarrhea, indigestion, and abdominal pain. Improvements persisted 8 weeks after treatment. Similarly, clinical assessments showed that behavioral ASD symptoms improved significantly and remained improved 8 weeks after treatment ended. Bacterial and phagedeep sequencing analyses revealed successful partial engraftment of donor microbiota and beneficial changes in the gut environment. Specifically, overall bacterial diversity and the abundance of Bifidobacterium, Prevotella, and Desulfovibrio among other taxa increased following MTT, and these changes persisted after treatment stopped (followed for 8 weeks).
Conclusions
This exploratory, extended-duration treatment protocol thus appears to be a promising approach to alter the gut microbiome and virome and improve GI and behavioral symptoms of ASD. Improvements in GI symptoms, ASD symptoms, and the microbiome all persisted for at least 8 weeks after treatment ended, suggesting a long-term impact.

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Date Created
  • 2017-01-23

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Reduced Incidence of Prevotella and Other Fermenters in Intestinal Microflora of Autistic Children

Description

High proportions of autistic children suffer from gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, implying a link between autism and abnormalities in gut microbial functions. Increasing evidence from recent high-throughput sequencing analyses indicates that

High proportions of autistic children suffer from gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, implying a link between autism and abnormalities in gut microbial functions. Increasing evidence from recent high-throughput sequencing analyses indicates that disturbances in composition and diversity of gut microbiome are associated with various disease conditions. However, microbiome-level studies on autism are limited and mostly focused on pathogenic bacteria. Therefore, here we aimed to define systemic changes in gut microbiome associated with autism and autism-related GI problems. We recruited 20 neurotypical and 20 autistic children accompanied by a survey of both autistic severity and GI symptoms. By pyrosequencing the V2/V3 regions in bacterial 16S rDNA from fecal DNA samples, we compared gut microbiomes of GI symptom-free neurotypical children with those of autistic children mostly presenting GI symptoms. Unexpectedly, the presence of autistic symptoms, rather than the severity of GI symptoms, was associated with less diverse gut microbiomes. Further, rigorous statistical tests with multiple testing corrections showed significantly lower abundances of the genera Prevotella, Coprococcus, and unclassified Veillonellaceae in autistic samples. These are intriguingly versatile carbohydrate-degrading and/or fermenting bacteria, suggesting a potential influence of unusual diet patterns observed in autistic children. However, multivariate analyses showed that autism-related changes in both overall diversity and individual genus abundances were correlated with the presence of autistic symptoms but not with their diet patterns. Taken together, autism and accompanying GI symptoms were characterized by distinct and less diverse gut microbial compositions with lower levels of Prevotella, Coprococcus, and unclassified Veillonellaceae.

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Date Created
  • 2013-06-03

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Role of bicarbonate as a pH buffer and electron sink in microbial dechlorination of chloroethenes

Description

Background
Buffering to achieve pH control is crucial for successful trichloroethene (TCE) anaerobic bioremediation. Bicarbonate (HCO3−) is the natural buffer in groundwater and the buffer of choice in the laboratory

Background
Buffering to achieve pH control is crucial for successful trichloroethene (TCE) anaerobic bioremediation. Bicarbonate (HCO3−) is the natural buffer in groundwater and the buffer of choice in the laboratory and at contaminated sites undergoing biological treatment with organohalide respiring microorganisms. However, HCO3− also serves as the electron acceptor for hydrogenotrophic methanogens and hydrogenotrophic homoacetogens, two microbial groups competing with organohalide respirers for hydrogen (H2). We studied the effect of HCO3− as a buffering agent and the effect of HCO3−-consuming reactions in a range of concentrations (2.5-30 mM) with an initial pH of 7.5 in H2-fed TCE reductively dechlorinating communities containing Dehalococcoides, hydrogenotrophic methanogens, and hydrogenotrophic homoacetogens.
Results
Rate differences in TCE dechlorination were observed as a result of added varying HCO3− concentrations due to H2-fed electrons channeled towards methanogenesis and homoacetogenesis and pH increases (up to 8.7) from biological HCO3− consumption. Significantly faster dechlorination rates were noted at all HCO3− concentrations tested when the pH buffering was improved by providing 4-(2-hydroxyethyl)-1-piperazineethanesulfonic acid (HEPES) as an additional buffer. Electron balances and quantitative PCR revealed that methanogenesis was the main electron sink when the initial HCO3− concentrations were 2.5 and 5 mM, while homoacetogenesis was the dominant process and sink when 10 and 30 mM HCO3− were provided initially.
Conclusions
Our study reveals that HCO3− is an important variable for bioremediation of chloroethenes as it has a prominent role as an electron acceptor for methanogenesis and homoacetogenesis. It also illustrates the changes in rates and extent of reductive dechlorination resulting from the combined effect of electron donor competition stimulated by HCO3− and the changes in pH exerted by methanogens and homoacetogens.

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Date Created
  • 2012-09-13