Present address: Jana Breitfeld, Interdisciplinary Center for Clinical Research, University of Leipzig, Inselstr. 22, 04103 Leipzig, Germany.
Molecular characterization of bacterial communities mineralizing benzene under sulfate-reducing conditions
Article first published online: 10 JUL 2008
© 2008 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved
FEMS Microbiology Ecology
Special Issue: Community Networks — BAGECO 9 Conference on Bacterial Genetics and Ecology
Volume 66, Issue 1, pages 143–157, October 2008
How to Cite
Kleinsteuber, S., Schleinitz, K. M., Breitfeld, J., Harms, H., Richnow, H. H. and Vogt, C. (2008), Molecular characterization of bacterial communities mineralizing benzene under sulfate-reducing conditions. FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 66: 143–157. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6941.2008.00536.x
Editor: Timothy Vogel
- Issue published online: 11 SEP 2008
- Article first published online: 10 JUL 2008
- Received 6 November 2007; revised 7 May 2008; accepted 23 May 2008.First published online 10 July 2008.
- natural attenuation;
- anaerobic degradation;
- Desulfotomaculum subcluster Ih
The microbial communities of in situ reactor columns degrading benzene with sulfate as an electron acceptor were analyzed based on clone libraries and terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism fingerprinting of PCR-amplified 16S rRNA genes. The columns were filled with either lava granules or sand particles and percolated with groundwater from a benzene-contaminated aquifer. The predominant organisms colonizing the lava granules were related to Magnetobacterium sp., followed by a phylotype affiliated to the genera Cryptanaerobacter/Pelotomaculum and several Deltaproteobacteria. From the sand-filled columns, a stable benzene-degrading consortium was established in sand-filled laboratory microcosms under sulfate-reducing conditions. It was composed of Delta- and Epsilonproteobacteria, Clostridia, Chloroflexi, Actinobacteria and Bacteroidetes. The most prominent phylotype of the consortium was related to the genus Sulfurovum, followed by Desulfovibrio sp. and the Cryptanaerobacter/Pelotomaculum phylotype. The proportion of the latter was similar in both communities and significantly increased after repeated benzene-spiking. During cultivation on aromatic substrates other than benzene, the Cryptanaerobacter/Pelotomaculum phylotype was outcompeted by other community members. Hence, this organism appears to be specific for benzene as a growth substrate and might play a key role in benzene degradation in both communities. Based on the possible functions of the community members and thermodynamic calculations, a functional model for syntrophic benzene degradation under sulfate-reducing conditions is proposed.