Exploration of the biotransformation of phenanthrene degradation coupled with methanogensis by metabolites and enzyme analyses

Environmental Pollution(2022)

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The ubiquitous environmental contaminants, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), can be aerobically biodegraded. Strategies for biodegradation of PAHs are needed for the persisted character of it in anoxic environments. In current study, we obtained a highly enriched anaerobic, PAHs-degrading co-culture DYM1, from petroleum-polluted soil. DYM1 significantly degrades a range of PAHs in 4 days without supplementary terminal electron acceptors. Co-culture DYM1 is consists of two microorganisms (a degrading bacterium Paracoccus sp. strain PheM1 and an aceticlastic methanogen Methanosaeta concilii.) that utilize different carbon sources in a syntrophic metabolic process of phenanthrene. About 93% of phenanthrene (104.5 μM) has been removed under methanogenic conditions after incubation with co-culture DYM1 for 4 d, and produced 33.68 μmol CH4. Carboxylation, which is catalyzed by UbiD-like carboxylase, was proposed as the initial steps of methanogenic phenanthrene-degrading pathway based upon the detection of 2-phenanthroic acid and 4-phenanthrene acid. Reduction and hydration of the benzene rings were followed by the initial reaction. Hydrated phenanthroic acid metabolites were newly detected and characterized under anaerobic conditions. Anaerobic degradation of phenanthrene without terminal electron acceptor addition not only sheds light on a poorly understood and environmentally relevant biological process, but also supply a novel approach to recover the energy of toxic pollutant in forms of methane.
Anaerobic phenanthrene biodegradation,Methanogenesis,Enrichment culture,Biodegradation pathway
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