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Title: Responses of Desulfovibrio vulgaris to Physiological Constraints Relevant to Bioremediation in the Field

Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Montana State University
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
R&D Project: ERSD 1026866
Resource Type:
Resource Relation:
Conference: Annual Environmental Remediation Science Program (ERSP) Principal Investigator Meeting, April 16-19, 2007, Lansdowne, VA
Country of Publication:
United States

Citation Formats

Matthew W. Fields. Responses of Desulfovibrio vulgaris to Physiological Constraints Relevant to Bioremediation in the Field. United States: N. p., 2007. Web.
Matthew W. Fields. Responses of Desulfovibrio vulgaris to Physiological Constraints Relevant to Bioremediation in the Field. United States.
Matthew W. Fields. Thu . "Responses of Desulfovibrio vulgaris to Physiological Constraints Relevant to Bioremediation in the Field". United States. doi:.
title = {Responses of Desulfovibrio vulgaris to Physiological Constraints Relevant to Bioremediation in the Field},
author = {Matthew W. Fields},
abstractNote = {},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Apr 19 00:00:00 EDT 2007},
month = {Thu Apr 19 00:00:00 EDT 2007}

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  • Desulfovibrio vulgaris ATCC29579 is a sulfate- reducing bacterium (SRB) that is commonly used as a model for direct and indirect heavy metal reduction, and can also be a causitative agent of metal corrosion. During growth with lactate and sulfate, internal carbohydrate levels increased throughout exponential-phase, and peaked as the cells transitioned to stationary-phase. The carbohydrate to protein ratio (C:P) peaked at 0.05 ug/ug as the cells transitioned to stationary-phase, and then declined to 0.02 ug/ug during extended stationary-phase. In contrast, a strain of D. vulgaris that does not contain the megaplasmid, maintained higher internal carbohydrate levels and the C:P ratiomore » peaked at 0.1 ug/ug (2-fold increase compared to wild-type). Under the tested growth conditions, we observed biofilm formation in wild-type cells, but the plasmid-less strain formed less biofilm (2-fold decrease). We hypothesized that carbohydrate was re-allocated to the external cell proper for biofilm formation. However, biofilm contained relatively little carbohydrate (0.6 to 1.0 ug/ml) and had a similar C:P ratio compared to wild-type early stationary-phase cells. Staining with calcafluor white also indicated the presence of little external carbohydrate in D. vulgaris biofilms. Less biofilm was formed in the presence of protinease K, trypsin, and chymotrypsin, however, the growth of planktonic cells was not affected. In addition, when D. vulgaris biofilm was treated with a protease, less biofilm was observed. Electron micrographs suggested the presence of filaments between the biofilm cells, and filaments appeared to be susceptible to protease treatment. Biofilm filtrates contained soluble protein, and SDS-PAGE analysis suggested different polypeptide profiles between a filtrate, a planktonic, and a biofilm sample.« less
  • Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough forms biofilms under stress and nutrient limitation conditions. Analysis of the transcriptional responses to acid exposure suggested that genes encoding arginine and polyamine biosynthesis were increased in expression. A literature search showed that polyamines had been suggested to stimulate biofilm formation in some bacteria. Therefore, biofilm formation by D. vulgaris was then examined. Two different assay methods were used to estimate the biofilm formation. First, the classical crystal violet stainable material attached to glass test tubes was measured. Second protein attached to the test tube sides and especially precipitated at the bottom was measured.
  • Our findings demonstrated that D. vulgaris surface-adhered populations produce extracellular structures, and that that the cells have altered carbon and energy flux compared to planktonic cells. Biofilms did not have greatly increased carbohydrate accumulation. Interestingly genes present on the native plasmid found in D. vulgaris Hildenborough were necessary for wild type biofilm formation. In addition, extracellular appendages dependent on functions or proteins encoded by flaG or fliA also contributed to biofilm formation. Studies with SRB biofilms have indicated that the reduction and precipitation of metals can occur within the biofilm matrix; however, little work has been done to elucidate themore » physiological state of surface-adhered cells during metal reduction (Cr6+, U6+) and how this process is affected by nutrient feed levels (i.e., the stimulant).« less
  • The response of Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough to salt adaptation (long-term NaCl exposure) was examined by physiological, global transcriptional, and metabolite analyses. The growth of D. vulgaris was inhibited by high levels of NaCl, and the growth inhibition could be relieved by the addition of exogenous amino acids (e.g., glutamate, alanine, tryptophan) or yeast extract. Salt adaptation induced the expression of genes involved in amino acid biosynthesis and transport, electron transfer, hydrogen oxidation, and general stress responses (e.g., heat shock proteins, phage shock proteins, and oxidative stress response proteins). Genes involved in carbon metabolism, cell motility, and phage structures were repressed.more » Comparison of transcriptomic profiles of D. vulgaris responses to salt adaptation with those of salt shock (short-term NaCl exposure) showed some similarity as well as a significant difference. Metabolite assays showed that glutamate and alanine were accumulated under salt adaptation, suggesting that they may be used as osmoprotectants in D. vulgaris. A conceptual model is proposed to link the observed results to currently available knowledge for further understanding the mechanisms of D. vulgaris adaptation to elevated NaCl.« less