Biodegradation of aromatic hydrocarbons in anoxic contaminated environments is typically limited by the lack of bioavailable electron acceptors. Microbial electrochemical technologies (METs) are able to provide a virtually inexhaustible electron acceptor in the form of a solid electrode. Recently, we provided first experimental evidence for the syntrophic degradation of toluene in a continuous-flow bioelectrochemical reactor known as the "bioelectric well". Herein, we further analyzed the structure and function of the electroactive toluene-degrading microbiome using a suite of chemical, electrochemical, phylogenetic, proteomic, and functional gene-based analyses. The bioelectric well removed 83 ± 7 % of the toluene from the influent with a coulombic efficiency of 84 %. Cyclic voltammetry allowed to identify the formal potentials of four putative electron transfer sites, which ranged from -0.2 V to +0.1 V vs. SHE, consistent with outer membrane c-type cytochromes and pili of electroactive Geobacter species. The biofilm colonizing the surface of the anode was indeed highly enriched in Geobacter species. On the other hand, the planktonic communities thriving in the bulk of the reactor harbored aromatic hydrocarbons degraders and fermentative propionate-producing microorganisms, as revealed by phylogenetic and proteomic analyses. Most likely, propionate, acetate or other VFAs produced in the bulk liquid from the degradation of toluene were utilized as substrates by the electroactive biofilm. Interestingly, key-functional genes related to the degradation of toluene were found both in the biofilm and in the planktonic communities. Taken as a whole, the herein reported results highlight the importance of applying a comprehensive suite of techniques to unravel the complex cooperative metabolisms occurring in METs.

Insights into the syntrophic microbial electrochemical oxidation of toluene: a combined chemical, electrochemical, taxonomical, functional gene-based, and metaproteomic approach / Tucci, Matteo; Viggi, Carolina Cruz; Crognale, Simona; Matturro, Bruna; Rossetti, Simona; Capriotti, Anna Laura; Cavaliere, Chiara; Cerrato, Andrea; Montone, Carmela Maria; Harnisch, Falk; Aulenta, Federico. - In: SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT. - ISSN 1879-1026. - 850:(2022). [10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.157919]

Insights into the syntrophic microbial electrochemical oxidation of toluene: a combined chemical, electrochemical, taxonomical, functional gene-based, and metaproteomic approach

Rossetti, Simona;Capriotti, Anna Laura;Cavaliere, Chiara;Cerrato, Andrea;Montone, Carmela Maria;
2022

Abstract

Biodegradation of aromatic hydrocarbons in anoxic contaminated environments is typically limited by the lack of bioavailable electron acceptors. Microbial electrochemical technologies (METs) are able to provide a virtually inexhaustible electron acceptor in the form of a solid electrode. Recently, we provided first experimental evidence for the syntrophic degradation of toluene in a continuous-flow bioelectrochemical reactor known as the "bioelectric well". Herein, we further analyzed the structure and function of the electroactive toluene-degrading microbiome using a suite of chemical, electrochemical, phylogenetic, proteomic, and functional gene-based analyses. The bioelectric well removed 83 ± 7 % of the toluene from the influent with a coulombic efficiency of 84 %. Cyclic voltammetry allowed to identify the formal potentials of four putative electron transfer sites, which ranged from -0.2 V to +0.1 V vs. SHE, consistent with outer membrane c-type cytochromes and pili of electroactive Geobacter species. The biofilm colonizing the surface of the anode was indeed highly enriched in Geobacter species. On the other hand, the planktonic communities thriving in the bulk of the reactor harbored aromatic hydrocarbons degraders and fermentative propionate-producing microorganisms, as revealed by phylogenetic and proteomic analyses. Most likely, propionate, acetate or other VFAs produced in the bulk liquid from the degradation of toluene were utilized as substrates by the electroactive biofilm. Interestingly, key-functional genes related to the degradation of toluene were found both in the biofilm and in the planktonic communities. Taken as a whole, the herein reported results highlight the importance of applying a comprehensive suite of techniques to unravel the complex cooperative metabolisms occurring in METs.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1652467
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