Description: Enhanced Biological Phosphorus Removal (EBPR) is not wellunderstood at the metabolic level despite being one of the best-studiedmicrobially-mediated industrial processes due to its ecological andeconomic relevance. Here we present a metagenomic analysis of twolab-scale EBPR sludges dominated by the uncultured bacterium, "CandidatusAccumulibacter phosphatis." This analysis resolves several controversiesin EBPR metabolic models and provides hypotheses explaining the dominanceof A. phosphatis in this habitat, its lifestyle outside EBPR and probablecultivation requirements. Comparison of the same species from differentEBPR sludges highlights recent evolutionary dynamics in the A. phosphatisgenome that could be linked to mechanisms for environmental adaptation.In spite of an apparent lack of phylogenetic overlap in the flankingcommunities of the two sludges studied, common functional themes werefound, at least one of them complementary to the inferred metabolism ofthe dominant organism. The present study provides a much-needed blueprintfor a systems-level understanding of EBPR and illustrates thatmetagenomics enables detailed, often novel, insights into evenwell-studied biological systems.
Date: February 1, 2006
Creator: Garcia Martin, Hector; Ivanova, Natalia; Kunin, Victor; Warnecke,Falk; Barry, Kerrie; McHardy, Alice C. et al.
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