In an aquifer-aquitard system in the subsoil of the city of Ferrara (Emilia-Romagna region, northern Italy) highly contaminated with chlorinated aliphatic toxic organics such as trichloroethylene (TCE) and tetrachloroethylene (PCE), a strong microbial-dependent dechlorination activity takes place during migration of contaminants through shallow organic-rich layers with peat intercalations. The in situ microbial degradation of chlorinated ethenes, formerly inferred by the utilization of contaminant concentration profiles and Compound-Specific Isotope Analysis (CSIA), was here assessed using Illumina sequencing of V4 hypervariable region of 16S rRNA gene and by clone library analysis of dehalogenase metabolic genes. Taxon-specific investigation of the microbial communities catalyzing the chlorination process revealed the presence of not only dehalogenating genera such as Dehalococcoides and Dehalobacter but also of numerous other groups of non-dehalogenating bacteria and archaea thriving on diverse metabolisms such as hydrolysis and fermentation of complex organic matter, acidogenesis, acetogenesis, and methanogenesis, which can indirectly support the reductive dechlorination process. Besides, the diversity of genes encoding some reductive dehalogenases was also analyzed. Geochemical and 16S rRNA and RDH gene analyses, as a whole, provided insights into the microbial community complexity and the distribution of potential dechlorinators. Based on the data obtained, a possible network of metabolic interactions has been hypothesized to obtain an effective reductive dechlorination process.

Molecular characterization of microbial communities in a peat-rich aquifer system contaminated with chlorinated aliphatic compounds

Ghezzi, Daniele;
2021

Abstract

In an aquifer-aquitard system in the subsoil of the city of Ferrara (Emilia-Romagna region, northern Italy) highly contaminated with chlorinated aliphatic toxic organics such as trichloroethylene (TCE) and tetrachloroethylene (PCE), a strong microbial-dependent dechlorination activity takes place during migration of contaminants through shallow organic-rich layers with peat intercalations. The in situ microbial degradation of chlorinated ethenes, formerly inferred by the utilization of contaminant concentration profiles and Compound-Specific Isotope Analysis (CSIA), was here assessed using Illumina sequencing of V4 hypervariable region of 16S rRNA gene and by clone library analysis of dehalogenase metabolic genes. Taxon-specific investigation of the microbial communities catalyzing the chlorination process revealed the presence of not only dehalogenating genera such as Dehalococcoides and Dehalobacter but also of numerous other groups of non-dehalogenating bacteria and archaea thriving on diverse metabolisms such as hydrolysis and fermentation of complex organic matter, acidogenesis, acetogenesis, and methanogenesis, which can indirectly support the reductive dechlorination process. Besides, the diversity of genes encoding some reductive dehalogenases was also analyzed. Geochemical and 16S rRNA and RDH gene analyses, as a whole, provided insights into the microbial community complexity and the distribution of potential dechlorinators. Based on the data obtained, a possible network of metabolic interactions has been hypothesized to obtain an effective reductive dechlorination process.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11576/2702313
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