Geobacter lovleyi sp. nov. strain SZ, a novel metal-reducing and tetrachloroethene-dechlorinating bacterium

Youlboong Sung, Kelly E Fletcher, Kirsti M Ritalahti, Robert P Apkarian, Natalia Ramos-Hernández, Robert A Sanford, Noha M Mesbah, Frank E Löffler
Applied and Environmental Microbiology 2006, 72 (4): 2775-82
A bacterial isolate, designated strain SZ, was obtained from noncontaminated creek sediment microcosms based on its ability to derive energy from acetate oxidation coupled to tetrachloroethene (PCE)-to-cis-1,2-dichloroethene (cis-DCE) dechlorination (i.e., chlororespiration). Hydrogen and pyruvate served as alternate electron donors for strain SZ, and the range of electron acceptors included (reduced products are given in brackets) PCE and trichloroethene [cis-DCE], nitrate [ammonium], fumarate [succinate], Fe(III) [Fe(II)], malate [succinate], Mn(IV) [Mn(II)], U(VI) [U(IV)], and elemental sulfur [sulfide]. PCE and soluble Fe(III) (as ferric citrate) were reduced at rates of 56.5 and 164 nmol min(-1) mg of protein(-1), respectively, with acetate as the electron donor. Alternate electron acceptors, such as U(VI) and nitrate, did not inhibit PCE dechlorination and were consumed concomitantly. With PCE, Fe(III) (as ferric citrate), and nitrate as electron acceptors, H(2) was consumed to threshold concentrations of 0.08 +/- 0.03 nM, 0.16 +/- 0.07 nM, and 0.5 +/- 0.06 nM, respectively, and acetate was consumed to 3.0 +/- 2.1 nM, 1.2 +/- 0.5 nM, and 3.6 +/- 0.25 nM, respectively. Apparently, electron acceptor-specific acetate consumption threshold concentrations exist, suggesting that similar to the hydrogen threshold model, the measurement of acetate threshold concentrations offers an additional diagnostic tool to delineate terminal electron-accepting processes in anaerobic subsurface environments. Genetic and phenotypic analyses classify strain SZ as the type strain of the new species, Geobacter lovleyi sp. nov., with Geobacter (formerly Trichlorobacter) thiogenes as the closest relative. Furthermore, the analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences recovered from PCE-dechlorinating consortia and chloroethene-contaminated subsurface environments suggests that Geobacter lovleyi belongs to a distinct, dechlorinating clade within the metal-reducing Geobacter group. Substrate versatility, consumption of electron donors to low threshold concentrations, and simultaneous reduction of electron acceptors suggest that strain SZ-type organisms have desirable characteristics for bioremediation applications.

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