Fermentative Spirochaetes mediate necromass recycling in anoxic hydrocarbon-contaminated habitats.
ISME J., accepted (2018)
Spirochaetes are frequently detected in anoxic hydrocarbon- and organohalide-polluted groundwater, but their role in such ecosystems has remained unclear. To address this, we studied a sulfate-reducing, naphthalene-degrading enrichment culture, mainly comprising the sulfate reducer Desulfobacterium N47 and the rod-shaped Spirochete Rectinema cohabitans HM. Genome sequencing and proteome analysis suggested that the Spirochete is an obligate fermenter that catabolizes proteins and carbohydrates, resulting in acetate, ethanol, and molecular hydrogen (H2) production. Physiological experiments inferred that hydrogen is an important link between the two bacteria in the enrichment culture, with H2derived from fermentation by R. cohabitans used as reductant for sulfate reduction by Desulfobacterium N47. Differential proteomics and physiological experiments showed that R. cohabitans utilizes biomass (proteins and carbohydrates) released from dead cells of Desulfobacterium N47. Further comparative and community genome analyses indicated that other Rectinema phylotypes are widespread in contaminated environments and may perform a hydrogenogenic fermentative lifestyle similar to R. cohabitans. Together, these findings indicate that environmental Spirochaetes scavenge detrital biomass and in turn drive necromass recycling at anoxic hydrocarbon-contaminated sites and potentially other habitats.
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Publikationstyp Artikel: Journalartikel
Dokumenttyp Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
ISSN (print) / ISBN 1751-7362
Zeitschrift ISME Journal
Verlag Nature Publishing Group ; ISME (International Society for Microbial Ecology)
Institut(e) Institute of Groundwater Ecology (IGOE)