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Bacterial Community Succession During in situ Uranium Bioremediation: Spatial Similarities Along Controlled Flow Paths

Description: Bacterial community succession was investigated in a field-scale subsurface reactor formed by a series of wells that received weekly ethanol additions to re-circulating groundwater. Ethanol additions stimulated denitrification, metal reduction, sulfate reduction, and U(VI) reduction to sparingly soluble U(IV). Clone libraries of SSU rRNA gene sequences from groundwater samples enabled tracking of spatial and temporal changes over a 1.5 y period. Analyses showed that the communities changed in a manner consistent with geochemical variations that occurred along temporal and spatial scales. Canonical correspondence analysis revealed that the levels of nitrate, uranium, sulfide, sulfate, and ethanol strongly correlated with particular bacterial populations. As sulfate and U(VI) levels declined, sequences representative of sulfate-reducers and metal-reducers were detected at high levels. Ultimately, sequences associated with sulfate-reducing populations predominated, and sulfate levels declined as U(VI) remained at low levels. When engineering controls were compared to the population variation via canonical ordination, changes could be related to dissolved oxygen control and ethanol addition. The data also indicated that the indigenous populations responded differently to stimulation for bio-reduction; however, the two bio-stimulated communities became more similar after different transitions in an idiosyncratic manner. The strong associations between particular environmental variables and certain populations provide insight into the establishment of practical and successful remediation strategies in radionuclide-contaminated environments with respect to engineering controls and microbial ecology.
Date: May 22, 2009
Creator: Hwang, Chiachi; Wu, Weimin; Gentry, Terry J.; Carley, Jack; Corbin, Gail A.; Carroll, Sue L. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Metagenomic Insights into Evolution of a Heavy Metal-Contaminated Groundwater Microbial Community

Description: Understanding adaptation of biological communities to environmental change is a central issue in ecology and evolution. Metagenomic analysis of a stressed groundwater microbial community reveals that prolonged exposure to high concentrations of heavy metals, nitric acid and organic solvents (~;;50 years) have resulted in a massive decrease in species and allelic diversity as well as a significant loss of metabolic diversity. Although the surviving microbial community possesses all metabolic pathways necessary for survival and growth in such an extreme environment, its structure is very simple, primarily composed of clonal denitrifying ?- and ?-proteobacterial populations. The resulting community is over-abundant in key genes conferring resistance to specific stresses including nitrate, heavy metals and acetone. Evolutionary analysis indicates that lateral gene transfer could be a key mechanism in rapidly responding and adapting to environmental contamination. The results presented in this study have important implications in understanding, assessing and predicting the impacts of human-induced activities on microbial communities ranging from human health to agriculture to environmental management, and their responses to environmental changes.
Date: February 15, 2010
Creator: Hemme, Christopher L.; Deng, Ye; Gentry, Terry J.; Fields, Matthew W.; Wu, Liyou; Barua, Soumitra et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department