Abyssivirga alkaniphila gen. nov., sp. nov., an alkane-degrading, anaerobic bacterium from a deep-sea hydrothermal vent system, and emended descriptions of Natranaerovirga pectinivora and Natranaerovirga hydrolytica.
A strictly anaerobic, mesophilic, syntrophic, alkane-degrading strain, L81T, was isolated from a biofilm sampled from a black smoker chimney at the Loki's Castle vent field. Cells were straight, rod-shaped, Gram-positive-staining and motile. Growth was observed at pH?6.2-9.5, 14-42?°C and 0.5-6?% (w/w) NaCl, with optima at pH?7.0-8.2, 37?°C and 3% (w/w) NaCl. Proteinaceous substrates, sugars, organic acids and hydrocarbons were utilized for growth. Thiosulfate was used as an external electron acceptor during growth on crude oil. Strain L81T was capable of syntrophic hydrocarbon degradation when co-cultured with a methanogenic archaeon, designated strain LG6, isolated from the same enrichment. Phylogenetic analysis based on the 16S rRNA gene sequence indicated that strain L81T is affiliated with the family Lachnospiraceae, and is most closely related to the type strains of Natranaerovirga pectinivora (92?% sequence similarity) and Natranaerovirga hydrolytica (90%). The major cellular fatty acids of strain L81T were C15?:?0, anteiso-C15?:?0 and C16?:?0, and the profile was distinct from those of the species of the genus Natranaerovirga. The polar lipids were phosphatidylglycerol, diphosphatidylglycerol, three unidentified phospholipids, four unidentified glycolipids and two unidentified phosphoglycolipids. The G+C content of genomic DNA was determined to be 31.7?mol%. Based on our phenotypic, phylogenetic and chemotaxonomic results, strain L81T is considered to represent a novel species of a new genus of the family Lachnospiraceae, for which we propose the name Abyssivirga alkaniphila gen. nov., sp. nov. The type strain of Abyssivirga alkaniphila is L81T (=DSM 29592T=JCM 30920T). We also provide emended descriptions of Natranaerovirga pectinivora and Natranaerovirga hydrolytica.
The Palaeocene/Eocene thermal maximum represents a period of rapid, extreme global warming 55 million years ago, superimposed on an already warm world. This warming is associated with a severe shoaling of the ocean calcite compensation depth and a >2.5 per mil negative carbon isotope excursion in marine and soil carbonates. Together these observations indicate a massive release of 13C-depleted carbon and greenhouse-gas-induced warming. Recently, sediments were recovered from the central Arctic Ocean, providing the first opportunity to evaluate the environmental response at the North Pole at this time. Here we present stable hydrogen and carbon isotope measurements of terrestrial-plant- and aquatic-derived n-alkanes that record changes in hydrology, including surface water salinity and precipitation, and the global carbon cycle. Hydrogen isotope records are interpreted as documenting decreased rainout during moisture transport from lower latitudes and increased moisture delivery to the Arctic at the onset of the Palaeocene/Eocene thermal maximum, consistent with predictions of poleward storm track migrations during global warming. The terrestrial-plant carbon isotope excursion (about -4.5 to -6 per mil) is substantially larger than those of marine carbonates. Previously, this offset was explained by the physiological response of plants to increases in surface humidity. But this mechanism is not an effective explanation in this wet Arctic setting, leading us to hypothesize that the true magnitude of the excursion--and associated carbon input--was greater than originally surmised. Greater carbon release and strong hydrological cycle feedbacks may help explain the maintenance of this unprecedented warmth.
Microbial communities and hydrocarbon contents have been studied in two regions of natural oil seepage in Lake Baikal: (1) opposite the Bol'shaya Zelenovskaya River mouth (studied previously) and (2) near Cape Gorevoi Utes (discovered in 2005). The abundance of both heterotrophic and hydrocarbon-oxidizing microorganisms is significantly higher in water samples from the first region, where the oil is biologically degraded. In the surface soil layer at stations located in the immediate vicinity of oil seepage site, the abundance of n-alkane-oxidizing microorganisms reaches 2000 cells/ml, and that of oil-oxidizing microorganisms reaches 2600 cells/ml. In water samples from near Cape Gorevoi Utes, the abundance of these groups of microorganisms does not exceed 190 and 500 cells/ml, respectively.
Anaerobic methane oxidation coupled to sulphate reduction and the use of ethane and propane as electron donors by sulphate-reducing bacteria represent new opportunities for the treatment of streams contaminated with sulphur oxyanions. However, growth of microbial sulphate-reducing populations with methane, propane or butane is extremely slow, which hampers research and development of bioprocesses based on these conversions. Thermodynamic calculations indicate that the growth rate with possible alternative terminal electron acceptors such as thiosulphate and elemental sulphur may be higher, which would facilitate future research. Here, we investigate the use of these electron acceptors for oxidation of methane, ethane and propane, with marine sediment as inoculum. Mixed marine sediments originating from Aarhus Bay (Denmark) and Eckernförde Bay (Germany) were cultivated anaerobically at a pH between 7.2 and 7.8 and a temperature of 15 °C in the presence of methane, ethane and propane and various sulphur electron acceptors. The sulphide production rates in the conditions with methane, ethane and propane with sulphate were respectively 2.3, 2.2 and 1.8 µmol S L(-1) day(-1). For sulphur, no reduction was demonstrated. For thiosulphate, the sulphide production rates were up to 50 times higher compared to those of sulphate, with 86.2, 90.7 and 108.1 µmol S L(-1) day(-1) for methane, ethane and propane respectively. This sulphide production was partly due to disproportionation, 50 % for ethane but only 7 and 14 % for methane and propane respectively. The oxidation of the alkanes in the presence of thiosulphate was confirmed by carbon dioxide production. This is, to our knowledge, the first report of thiosulphate use as electron acceptor with ethane and propane as electron donors. Additionally, these results indicate that thiosulphate is a promising electron acceptor to increase start-up rates for sulphate-reducing bioprocesses coupled to short-chain alkane oxidation.
This study investigates a comparative multivariate approach for studying the biodegradation of chemically dispersed oil. The rationale for this approach lies in the inherent complexity of the data and challenges associated with comparing multiple experiments with inconsistent sampling points, with respect to inferring correlations and visualizing multiple datasets with numerous variables. We aim to identify novel correlations among microbial community composition, the chemical change of individual petroleum hydrocarbons, oil type and temperature by creating modelled datasets from inconsistent sampling time points. Four different incubation experiments were conducted with freshly collected Norwegian seawater and either Grane and Troll oil dispersed with Corexit 9500. Incubations were conducted at two different temperatures (5 °C and 13 °C) over a period of 64 days.
PCA analysis of modelled chemical datasets and calculated half-lives revealed differences in the biodegradation of individual hydrocarbons among temperatures and oil types. At 5 °C, most n-alkanes biodegraded faster in heavy Grane oil compared to light Troll oil. PCA analysis of modelled microbial community datasets reveal differences between temperature and oil type, especially at low temperature. For both oils, Colwelliaceae and Oceanospirillaceae were more prominent in the colder incubation (5 °C) than the warmer (13 °C). Overall, Colwelliaceae, Oceanospirillaceae, Flavobacteriaceae, Rhodobacteraceae, Alteromonadaceae and Piscirickettsiaceae consistently dominated the microbial community at both temperatures and in both oil types. Other families known to include oil-degrading bacteria were also identified, such as Alcanivoracaceae, Methylophilaceae, Sphingomonadaceae and Erythrobacteraceae, but they were all present in dispersed oil incubations at a low abundance (
Mutants of the methanol-utilizing yeast Pichia pastoris and the alkane-utilizing yeast Yarrowia lipolytica defective in the orthologue of UGT51 (encoding sterol glucosyltransferase) were isolated and compared. These mutants do not contain the specific ergosterol derivate, ergosterol glucoside. We observed that the P. pastoris UGT51 gene is required for pexophagy, the process by which peroxisomes containing methanol-metabolizing enzymes are selectively shipped to and degraded in the vacuole upon shifting methanol-grown cells of this yeast to glucose or ethanol. PpUGT51 is also required for other vacuole related processes. In contrast, the Y. lipolytica UGT51 gene is required for utilization of decane, but not for pexophagy. Thus, sterol glucosyltransferases play different functional roles in P. pastoris and Y. lipolytica.
We studied the composition of a natural microbial community, the distribution of different groups of microorganisms (including those able to degrade oil hydrocarbons) within the areas of natural oil seeps in the Lake Baikal. It was revealed that, in the bottom sediments, the oil-degrading microorganisms dominating the community have included the bacteria of g. Bacillus, while in the water column, dominating microbes are presented by species of genera Rhodococcus Pseudomonas, and Micrococcus. Under the conditions of the model experiment, the potential activity of Baikal microbes towards utilization of n-alcanes has been assessed. Under such conditions it was shown that the concentration of n-alcanes decreases to 60% during 20 days of the experiment (the initial oil concentration was 0.5 mg/l, i.e., ten maximal permissible concentrations, MPC).