Get access

Biofilm shows spatially stratified metabolic responses to contaminant exposure

Authors

  • Bin Cao,

    1. Biological Sciences Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA, USA
    2. The Gene and Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering, Washington State University, Pullman, WA, USA
    3. Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering (SCELSE), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
    4. School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Paul D. Majors,

    1. Biological Sciences Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Bulbul Ahmed,

    1. The Gene and Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering, Washington State University, Pullman, WA, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Ryan S. Renslow,

    1. The Gene and Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering, Washington State University, Pullman, WA, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Crystal P. Silvia,

    1. Biological Sciences Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA, USA
    2. University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Liang Shi,

    1. Biological Sciences Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Staffan Kjelleberg,

    1. Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering (SCELSE), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Jim K. Fredrickson,

    1. Biological Sciences Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Haluk Beyenal

    Corresponding author
    • The Gene and Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering, Washington State University, Pullman, WA, USA
    Search for more papers by this author

For correspondence. E-mail beyenal@wsu.edu; Tel. (+1) 509 335 6607; Fax (+1) 509 335 4806.

Summary

Biofilms are core to a range of biological processes, including the bioremediation of environmental contaminants. Within a biofilm population, cells with diverse genotypes and phenotypes coexist, suggesting that distinct metabolic pathways may be expressed based on the local environmental conditions in a biofilm. However, metabolic responses to local environmental conditions in a metabolically active biofilm interacting with environmental contaminants have never been quantitatively elucidated. In this study, we monitored the spatiotemporal metabolic responses of metabolically active Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 biofilms to U(VI) (uranyl, UO2 2+) and Cr(VI) (chromate, CrO4 2−) using non-invasive nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and spectroscopy (MRS) approaches to obtain insights into adaptation in biofilms during biofilm-contaminant interactions. While overall biomass distribution was not significantly altered upon exposure to U(VI) or Cr(VI), MRI and spatial mapping of the diffusion revealed localized changes in the water diffusion coefficients in the biofilms, suggesting significant contaminant-induced changes in structural or hydrodynamic properties during bioremediation. Finally, we quantitatively demonstrated that the metabolic responses of biofilms to contaminant exposure are spatially stratified, implying that adaptation in biofilms is custom-developed based on local microenvironments.

Get access to the full text of this article

Ancillary