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

  • Siavash Atashgahi (Creator)
  • B.V.H. Hornung (Creator)
  • J.M. van der Waals (Creator)
  • Ulisses Nunes da Rocha (Creator)
  • F. Hugenholtz (Creator)
  • B. Nijsse (Creator)
  • Douwe Molenaar (Creator)
  • Rob Van Spanning (Creator)
  • Fons Stams (Creator)
  • Jan Gerritse (Creator)
  • Hauke Smidt (Creator)

Dataset

Description

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.
Date made available1 Mar 2018
PublisherWageningen University

Research Output

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

Atashgahi, S., Hornung, B., van der Waals, M. J., Da Rocha, U. N., Hugenholtz, F., Nijsse, B., Molenaar, D., van Spanning, R., Stams, A. J. M., Gerritse, J. & Smidt, H., 1 Dec 2018, In : Scientific Reports. 8, 1, 4490.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
  • 14 Citations (Scopus)

    Cite this

    Atashgahi, S. (Creator), Hornung, B. V. H. (Creator), van der Waals, J. M. (Creator), da Rocha, U. N. (Creator), Hugenholtz, F. (Creator), Nijsse, B. (Creator), Molenaar, D. (Creator), van Spanning, R. (Creator), Stams, A. J. M. (Creator), Gerritse, J. (Creator), Smidt, H. (Creator) (1 Mar 2018). A benzene-degrading nitrate-reducing microbial consortium displays aerobic and anaerobic benzene degradation pathways. Wageningen University.