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Title: The selective pressures on the microbial community in a metal-contaminated aquifer

Abstract

In many environments, toxic compounds restrict which microorganisms persist. However, in complex mixtures of inhibitory compounds, it is challenging to determine which specific compounds cause changes in abundance and prevent some microorganisms from growing. We focused on a contaminated aquifer in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA that has large gradients of pH and widely varying concentrations of uranium, nitrate, and many other inorganic ions. In the most contaminated wells, the microbial community is enriched in the Rhodanobacter genus. Rhodanobacter abundance is positively correlated with low pH and high concentrations of uranium and 13 other ions and we sought to determine which of these ions are selective pressures that favor the growth of Rhodanobacter over other taxa. Of these ions, low pH and high UO 2 2+, Mn 2+, Al 3+, Cd 2+, Zn 2+, Co 2+, and Ni 2+ are both (a) selectively inhibitory of a Pseudomonas isolate from an uncontaminated well vs. a Rhodanobacter isolate from a contaminated well, and (b) reach toxic concentrations (for the Pseudomonas isolate) in the Rhodanobacter-dominated wells. We used mixtures of ions to simulate the groundwater conditions in the most contaminated wells and verified that few isolates aside from Rhodanobacter can tolerate these eight ions.more » These results clarify which ions are likely causal factors that impact the microbial community at this field site and are not merely correlated with taxonomic shifts. Furthermore, our general high-throughput approach can be applied to other environments, isolates, and conditions to systematically help identify selective pressures on microbial communities.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [1]; ORCiD logo [1];  [1];  [1];  [2];  [2]
  1. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
  2. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
OSTI Identifier:
1532283
DOE Contract Number:  
AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
The ISME Journal
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 13; Journal Issue: 4; Journal ID: ISSN 1751-7362
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES

Citation Formats

Carlson, Hans K., Price, Morgan N., Callaghan, Mark, Aaring, Alex, Chakraborty, Romy, Liu, Hualan, Kuehl, Jennifer V., Arkin, Adam P., and Deutschbauer, Adam M. The selective pressures on the microbial community in a metal-contaminated aquifer. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1038/s41396-018-0328-1.
Carlson, Hans K., Price, Morgan N., Callaghan, Mark, Aaring, Alex, Chakraborty, Romy, Liu, Hualan, Kuehl, Jennifer V., Arkin, Adam P., & Deutschbauer, Adam M. The selective pressures on the microbial community in a metal-contaminated aquifer. United States. doi:10.1038/s41396-018-0328-1.
Carlson, Hans K., Price, Morgan N., Callaghan, Mark, Aaring, Alex, Chakraborty, Romy, Liu, Hualan, Kuehl, Jennifer V., Arkin, Adam P., and Deutschbauer, Adam M. Thu . "The selective pressures on the microbial community in a metal-contaminated aquifer". United States. doi:10.1038/s41396-018-0328-1. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1532283.
@article{osti_1532283,
title = {The selective pressures on the microbial community in a metal-contaminated aquifer},
author = {Carlson, Hans K. and Price, Morgan N. and Callaghan, Mark and Aaring, Alex and Chakraborty, Romy and Liu, Hualan and Kuehl, Jennifer V. and Arkin, Adam P. and Deutschbauer, Adam M.},
abstractNote = {In many environments, toxic compounds restrict which microorganisms persist. However, in complex mixtures of inhibitory compounds, it is challenging to determine which specific compounds cause changes in abundance and prevent some microorganisms from growing. We focused on a contaminated aquifer in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA that has large gradients of pH and widely varying concentrations of uranium, nitrate, and many other inorganic ions. In the most contaminated wells, the microbial community is enriched in the Rhodanobacter genus. Rhodanobacter abundance is positively correlated with low pH and high concentrations of uranium and 13 other ions and we sought to determine which of these ions are selective pressures that favor the growth of Rhodanobacter over other taxa. Of these ions, low pH and high UO22+, Mn2+, Al3+, Cd2+, Zn2+, Co2+, and Ni2+ are both (a) selectively inhibitory of a Pseudomonas isolate from an uncontaminated well vs. a Rhodanobacter isolate from a contaminated well, and (b) reach toxic concentrations (for the Pseudomonas isolate) in the Rhodanobacter-dominated wells. We used mixtures of ions to simulate the groundwater conditions in the most contaminated wells and verified that few isolates aside from Rhodanobacter can tolerate these eight ions. These results clarify which ions are likely causal factors that impact the microbial community at this field site and are not merely correlated with taxonomic shifts. Furthermore, our general high-throughput approach can be applied to other environments, isolates, and conditions to systematically help identify selective pressures on microbial communities.},
doi = {10.1038/s41396-018-0328-1},
journal = {The ISME Journal},
issn = {1751-7362},
number = 4,
volume = 13,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {12}
}

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