Genomic and microarray analysis of aromatics degradation in Geobacter metallireducens and comparison to a Geobacter isolate from a contaminated field site

Jessica E Butler, Qiang He, Kelly P Nevin, Zhili He, Jizhong Zhou, Derek R Lovley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

60 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Groundwater and subsurface environments contaminated with aromatic compounds can be remediated in situ by Geobacter species that couple oxidation of these compounds to reduction of Fe(III)-oxides. Geobacter metallireducens metabolizes many aromatic compounds, but the enzymes involved are not well known.

RESULTS: The complete G. metallireducens genome contained a 300 kb island predicted to encode enzymes for the degradation of phenol, p-cresol, 4-hydroxybenzaldehyde, 4-hydroxybenzoate, benzyl alcohol, benzaldehyde, and benzoate. Toluene degradation genes were encoded in a separate region. None of these genes was found in closely related species that cannot degrade aromatic compounds. Abundant transposons and phage-like genes in the island suggest mobility, but nucleotide composition and lack of synteny with other species do not suggest a recent transfer. The inferred degradation pathways are similar to those in species that anaerobically oxidize aromatic compounds with nitrate as an electron acceptor. In these pathways the aromatic compounds are converted to benzoyl-CoA and then to 3-hydroxypimelyl-CoA. However, in G. metallireducens there were no genes for the energetically-expensive dearomatizing enzyme. Whole-genome changes in transcript levels were identified in cells oxidizing benzoate. These supported the predicted pathway, identified induced fatty-acid oxidation genes, and identified an apparent shift in the TCA cycle to a putative ATP-yielding succinyl-CoA synthase. Paralogs to several genes in the pathway were also induced, as were several putative molybdo-proteins. Comparison of the aromatics degradation pathway genes to the genome of an isolate from a contaminated field site showed very similar content, and suggested this strain degrades many of the same compounds. This strain also lacked a classical dearomatizing enzyme, but contained two copies of an eight-gene cluster encoding redox proteins that was 30-fold induced during benzoate oxidation.

CONCLUSION: G. metallireducens appears to convert aromatic compounds to benzoyl-CoA, then to acetyl-CoA via fatty acid oxidation, and then to carbon dioxide via the TCA cycle. The enzyme responsible for dearomatizing the aromatic ring may be novel, and energetic investments at this step may be offset by a change in succinate metabolism. Analysis of a field isolate suggests that the pathways inferred for G. metallireducens may be applicable to modeling in situ bioremediation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number180
JournalBMC Genomics
Volume8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2007

Fingerprint

Geobacter
Microarray Analysis
Benzoates
Genes
Enzymes
Genome
Islands
Fatty Acids
Benzyl Alcohol
Synteny
Acetyl Coenzyme A
Environmental Biodegradation
Groundwater
Toluene
Succinic Acid
Coenzyme A
Multigene Family
Phenol
Carbon Dioxide
Nitrates

Keywords

  • Biodegradation, Environmental
  • Citric Acid Cycle
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
  • Genomics
  • Geobacter
  • Hydrocarbons, Aromatic
  • Microarray Analysis
  • Models, Chemical
  • Models, Genetic
  • Multigene Family
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Phylogeny
  • Soil Pollutants
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical

Cite this

Genomic and microarray analysis of aromatics degradation in Geobacter metallireducens and comparison to a Geobacter isolate from a contaminated field site. / Butler, Jessica E; He, Qiang; Nevin, Kelly P; He, Zhili; Zhou, Jizhong; Lovley, Derek R.

In: BMC Genomics, Vol. 8, 180, 19.06.2007.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "BACKGROUND: Groundwater and subsurface environments contaminated with aromatic compounds can be remediated in situ by Geobacter species that couple oxidation of these compounds to reduction of Fe(III)-oxides. Geobacter metallireducens metabolizes many aromatic compounds, but the enzymes involved are not well known.RESULTS: The complete G. metallireducens genome contained a 300 kb island predicted to encode enzymes for the degradation of phenol, p-cresol, 4-hydroxybenzaldehyde, 4-hydroxybenzoate, benzyl alcohol, benzaldehyde, and benzoate. Toluene degradation genes were encoded in a separate region. None of these genes was found in closely related species that cannot degrade aromatic compounds. Abundant transposons and phage-like genes in the island suggest mobility, but nucleotide composition and lack of synteny with other species do not suggest a recent transfer. The inferred degradation pathways are similar to those in species that anaerobically oxidize aromatic compounds with nitrate as an electron acceptor. In these pathways the aromatic compounds are converted to benzoyl-CoA and then to 3-hydroxypimelyl-CoA. However, in G. metallireducens there were no genes for the energetically-expensive dearomatizing enzyme. Whole-genome changes in transcript levels were identified in cells oxidizing benzoate. These supported the predicted pathway, identified induced fatty-acid oxidation genes, and identified an apparent shift in the TCA cycle to a putative ATP-yielding succinyl-CoA synthase. Paralogs to several genes in the pathway were also induced, as were several putative molybdo-proteins. Comparison of the aromatics degradation pathway genes to the genome of an isolate from a contaminated field site showed very similar content, and suggested this strain degrades many of the same compounds. This strain also lacked a classical dearomatizing enzyme, but contained two copies of an eight-gene cluster encoding redox proteins that was 30-fold induced during benzoate oxidation.CONCLUSION: G. metallireducens appears to convert aromatic compounds to benzoyl-CoA, then to acetyl-CoA via fatty acid oxidation, and then to carbon dioxide via the TCA cycle. The enzyme responsible for dearomatizing the aromatic ring may be novel, and energetic investments at this step may be offset by a change in succinate metabolism. Analysis of a field isolate suggests that the pathways inferred for G. metallireducens may be applicable to modeling in situ bioremediation.",
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T1 - Genomic and microarray analysis of aromatics degradation in Geobacter metallireducens and comparison to a Geobacter isolate from a contaminated field site

AU - Butler, Jessica E

AU - He, Qiang

AU - Nevin, Kelly P

AU - He, Zhili

AU - Zhou, Jizhong

AU - Lovley, Derek R

PY - 2007/6/19

Y1 - 2007/6/19

N2 - BACKGROUND: Groundwater and subsurface environments contaminated with aromatic compounds can be remediated in situ by Geobacter species that couple oxidation of these compounds to reduction of Fe(III)-oxides. Geobacter metallireducens metabolizes many aromatic compounds, but the enzymes involved are not well known.RESULTS: The complete G. metallireducens genome contained a 300 kb island predicted to encode enzymes for the degradation of phenol, p-cresol, 4-hydroxybenzaldehyde, 4-hydroxybenzoate, benzyl alcohol, benzaldehyde, and benzoate. Toluene degradation genes were encoded in a separate region. None of these genes was found in closely related species that cannot degrade aromatic compounds. Abundant transposons and phage-like genes in the island suggest mobility, but nucleotide composition and lack of synteny with other species do not suggest a recent transfer. The inferred degradation pathways are similar to those in species that anaerobically oxidize aromatic compounds with nitrate as an electron acceptor. In these pathways the aromatic compounds are converted to benzoyl-CoA and then to 3-hydroxypimelyl-CoA. However, in G. metallireducens there were no genes for the energetically-expensive dearomatizing enzyme. Whole-genome changes in transcript levels were identified in cells oxidizing benzoate. These supported the predicted pathway, identified induced fatty-acid oxidation genes, and identified an apparent shift in the TCA cycle to a putative ATP-yielding succinyl-CoA synthase. Paralogs to several genes in the pathway were also induced, as were several putative molybdo-proteins. Comparison of the aromatics degradation pathway genes to the genome of an isolate from a contaminated field site showed very similar content, and suggested this strain degrades many of the same compounds. This strain also lacked a classical dearomatizing enzyme, but contained two copies of an eight-gene cluster encoding redox proteins that was 30-fold induced during benzoate oxidation.CONCLUSION: G. metallireducens appears to convert aromatic compounds to benzoyl-CoA, then to acetyl-CoA via fatty acid oxidation, and then to carbon dioxide via the TCA cycle. The enzyme responsible for dearomatizing the aromatic ring may be novel, and energetic investments at this step may be offset by a change in succinate metabolism. Analysis of a field isolate suggests that the pathways inferred for G. metallireducens may be applicable to modeling in situ bioremediation.

AB - BACKGROUND: Groundwater and subsurface environments contaminated with aromatic compounds can be remediated in situ by Geobacter species that couple oxidation of these compounds to reduction of Fe(III)-oxides. Geobacter metallireducens metabolizes many aromatic compounds, but the enzymes involved are not well known.RESULTS: The complete G. metallireducens genome contained a 300 kb island predicted to encode enzymes for the degradation of phenol, p-cresol, 4-hydroxybenzaldehyde, 4-hydroxybenzoate, benzyl alcohol, benzaldehyde, and benzoate. Toluene degradation genes were encoded in a separate region. None of these genes was found in closely related species that cannot degrade aromatic compounds. Abundant transposons and phage-like genes in the island suggest mobility, but nucleotide composition and lack of synteny with other species do not suggest a recent transfer. The inferred degradation pathways are similar to those in species that anaerobically oxidize aromatic compounds with nitrate as an electron acceptor. In these pathways the aromatic compounds are converted to benzoyl-CoA and then to 3-hydroxypimelyl-CoA. However, in G. metallireducens there were no genes for the energetically-expensive dearomatizing enzyme. Whole-genome changes in transcript levels were identified in cells oxidizing benzoate. These supported the predicted pathway, identified induced fatty-acid oxidation genes, and identified an apparent shift in the TCA cycle to a putative ATP-yielding succinyl-CoA synthase. Paralogs to several genes in the pathway were also induced, as were several putative molybdo-proteins. Comparison of the aromatics degradation pathway genes to the genome of an isolate from a contaminated field site showed very similar content, and suggested this strain degrades many of the same compounds. This strain also lacked a classical dearomatizing enzyme, but contained two copies of an eight-gene cluster encoding redox proteins that was 30-fold induced during benzoate oxidation.CONCLUSION: G. metallireducens appears to convert aromatic compounds to benzoyl-CoA, then to acetyl-CoA via fatty acid oxidation, and then to carbon dioxide via the TCA cycle. The enzyme responsible for dearomatizing the aromatic ring may be novel, and energetic investments at this step may be offset by a change in succinate metabolism. Analysis of a field isolate suggests that the pathways inferred for G. metallireducens may be applicable to modeling in situ bioremediation.

KW - Biodegradation, Environmental

KW - Citric Acid Cycle

KW - Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial

KW - Genomics

KW - Geobacter

KW - Hydrocarbons, Aromatic

KW - Microarray Analysis

KW - Models, Chemical

KW - Models, Genetic

KW - Multigene Family

KW - Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis

KW - Oxidation-Reduction

KW - Phylogeny

KW - Soil Pollutants

KW - Water Pollutants, Chemical

U2 - 10.1186/1471-2164-8-180

DO - 10.1186/1471-2164-8-180

M3 - Article

VL - 8

JO - BMC Genomics

JF - BMC Genomics

SN - 1471-2164

M1 - 180

ER -