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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

United States National Sewage Sludge Repository at Arizona State University-a new resource and research tool for environmental scientists, engineers, and epidemiologists

Description

Processed municipal sewage sludges (MSS) are an abundant, unwanted by-product of wastewater treatment, increasingly applied to agriculture and forestry for inexpensive disposal and soil conditioning. Due to their high organic

Processed municipal sewage sludges (MSS) are an abundant, unwanted by-product of wastewater treatment, increasingly applied to agriculture and forestry for inexpensive disposal and soil conditioning. Due to their high organic carbon and lipid contents, MSS not only is rich in carbon and nutrients but also represents a “sink” for recalcitrant, hydrophobic, and potentially bioaccumulative compounds. Indeed, many organics sequestered and concentrated in MSS meet the US Environmental Protection Agency’s definition of being persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic (PBT). In a strategic effort, our research team at the Biodesign Institute has created the National Sewage Sludge Repository (NSSR), a large repository of digested MSSs from 164 wastewater treatment plants from across the USA, as part of the Human Health Observatory (H2O) at Arizona State University (ASU). The NSSR likely represents the largest archive of digested MSS specimens in the USA. The present study summarizes key findings gleaned thus far from analysis of NSSR samples. For example, we evaluated the content of toxicants in MSS and computed estimates of nationwide inventories of mass produced chemicals that become sequestrated in sludge and later are released into the environment during sludge disposal on land. Ongoing efforts document co-occurrence of a variety of PBT compounds in both MSS and human samples, while also identifying a large number of potentially harmful MSS constituents for which human exposure data are still lacking. Finally, we summarize future opportunities and invite collaborative use of the NSSR by the research community. The H2O at ASU represents a new resource and research tool for environmental scientists and the larger research community. As illustrated in this work, this repository can serve to (i) identify and prioritize emerging contaminants, (ii) provide spatial and temporal trends of contaminants, (iii) inform and evaluate the effectiveness of environmental policy-making and regulations, and (iv) approximate, ongoing exposures and body burdens of mass-produced chemicals in human society.

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  • 2015-02-01

Does the Recent Growth of Aquaculture Create Antibiotic Resistance Threats Different from those Associated with Land Animal Production in Agriculture?

Description

Important antibiotics in human medicine have been used for many decades in animal agriculture for growth promotion and disease treatment. Several publications have linked antibiotic resistance development and spread with

Important antibiotics in human medicine have been used for many decades in animal agriculture for growth promotion and disease treatment. Several publications have linked antibiotic resistance development and spread with animal production. Aquaculture, the newest and fastest growing food production sector, may promote similar or new resistance mechanisms. This review of 650+ papers from diverse sources examines parallels and differences between land-based agriculture of swine, beef, and poultry and aquaculture. Among three key findings was, first, that of 51 antibiotics commonly used in aquaculture and agriculture, 39 (or 76%) are also of importance in human medicine; furthermore, six classes of antibiotics commonly used in both agriculture and aquaculture are also included on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) list of critically important/highly important/important antimicrobials. Second, various zoonotic pathogens isolated from meat and seafood were observed to feature resistance to multiple antibiotics on the WHO list, irrespective of their origin in either agriculture or aquaculture. Third, the data show that resistant bacteria isolated from both aquaculture and agriculture share the same resistance mechanisms, indicating that aquaculture is contributing to the same resistance issues established by terrestrial agriculture. More transparency in data collection and reporting is needed so the risks and benefits of antibiotic usage can be adequately assessed.

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Date Created
  • 2015-05-01

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Reconnaissance of 47 antibiotics and associated microbial risks in seafood sold in the United States

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Aquaculture production has nearly tripled in the last two decades, bringing with it a significant increase in the use of antibiotics. Using liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC–MS/MS), the presence of

Aquaculture production has nearly tripled in the last two decades, bringing with it a significant increase in the use of antibiotics. Using liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC–MS/MS), the presence of 47 antibiotics was investigated in U.S. purchased shrimp, salmon, catfish, trout, tilapia, and swai originating from 11 different countries. All samples (n = 27) complied with U.S. FDA regulations and five antibiotics were detected above the limits of detection: oxytetracycline (in wild shrimp, 7.7 ng/g of fresh weight; farmed tilapia, 2.7; farmed salmon, 8.6; farmed trout with spinal deformities, 3.9), 4-epioxytetracycline (farmed salmon, 4.1), sulfadimethoxine (farmed shrimp, 0.3), ormetoprim (farmed salmon, 0.5), and virginiamycin (farmed salmon marketed as antibiotic-free, 5.2). A literature review showed that sub-regulatory levels of antibiotics, as found here, can promote resistance development; publications linking aquaculture to this have increased more than 8-fold from 1991 to 2013. Although this study was limited in size and employed sample pooling, it represents the largest reconnaissance of antibiotics in U.S. seafood to date, providing data on previously unmonitored antibiotics and on farmed trout with spinal deformities. Results indicate low levels of antibiotic residues and general compliance with U.S. regulations. The potential for development of microbial drug resistance was identified as a key concern and research priority.

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Date Created
  • 2015-01-23