Apr 30, 2020

Thiocyanate and organic carbon inputs drive convergent selection for specific autotrophic Afipia and Thiobacillus strains within complex microbiomes

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
R. J. HuddyJillian F Banfield


Thiocyanate (SCN-) contamination threatens aquatic ecosystems and pollutes vital fresh water supplies. SCN- degrading microbial consortia are commercially deployed for remediation, but the impact of organic amendments on selection within SCN- degrading microbial communities has not been investigated. Here, we tested whether specific strains capable of degrading SCN- could be reproducibly selected for based on SCN- loading and the presence or absence of added organic carbon. Complex microbial communities derived from those used to treat SCN- contaminated water were exposed to systematically increased input SCN concentrations in molasses-amended and -unamended reactors and in reactors switched to unamended conditions after establishing the active SCN- degrading consortium. Five experiments were conducted over 790 days and genome-resolved metagenomics was used to resolve community composition at the strain level. A single Thiobacillus strain proliferated in all reactors at high loadings. Despite the presence of many Rhizobiales strains, a single Afipia variant dominated the molasses-free reactor at moderately high loadings. This strain is predicted to breakdown SCN- using a novel thiocyanate dehydrogenase, oxidize resulting reduce...Continue Reading

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