Understanding Microbial Biodegradation of Environmental Contaminants

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The accumulation of industrial contaminants in the natural environments have rapidly become a serious threat for human and animal life. Fortunately, there are microorganisms capable of degrading or transforming environmental contaminants. The present dissertation work aimed to understand the genomic basis of microbial degradation and resistance. The focus was the genomic study of the following bacteria: a) Pseudomonas fluorescens NCIMB 11764, a unique bacterium with specific enzymes that allow cyanide adaptation features. Potential cyanide degradation mechanisms found in this strain included nit1C cluster, and CNO complex. Potential cyanide tolerance genes found included cyanide insensitive oxidases, nitric oxide producing gene, and ... continued below

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vi, 84 pages : illustrations (chiefly color)

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Vilo Muñoz, Claudia Andrea May 2015.

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  • Vilo Muñoz, Claudia Andrea

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Description

The accumulation of industrial contaminants in the natural environments have rapidly become a serious threat for human and animal life. Fortunately, there are microorganisms capable of degrading or transforming environmental contaminants. The present dissertation work aimed to understand the genomic basis of microbial degradation and resistance. The focus was the genomic study of the following bacteria: a) Pseudomonas fluorescens NCIMB 11764, a unique bacterium with specific enzymes that allow cyanide adaptation features. Potential cyanide degradation mechanisms found in this strain included nit1C cluster, and CNO complex. Potential cyanide tolerance genes found included cyanide insensitive oxidases, nitric oxide producing gene, and iron metabolism genes. b) Cupriavidus sp. strain SK-3 and strain SK-4. The genome of both bacteria presented the bph operon for polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) degradation, but we found differences in the sequences of the genes. Those differences might indicate their preferences for different PCB substrates. c) Arsenic resistant bacterial communities observed in the Atacama Desert. Specific bacteria were found to thrive depending on the arsenic concentration. Examples were Bacteroidetes and Spirochaetes phyla whose proportions increased in the river with high arsenic concentrations. Also, DNA repair and replication metabolic functions seem to be necessary for resistance to arsenic contaminated environments. Our research give us insights on how bacteria communities, not just individually, can adapt and become resistant to the contaminants. The present dissertation work showed specific genes and mechanisms for degradation and resistance of contaminants that could contribute to develop new bioremediation strategies.

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vi, 84 pages : illustrations (chiefly color)

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  • May 2015

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  • Feb. 9, 2016, 4:37 p.m.

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  • April 3, 2017, 6:46 a.m.

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Vilo Muñoz, Claudia Andrea. Understanding Microbial Biodegradation of Environmental Contaminants, dissertation, May 2015; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc801956/: accessed December 13, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .