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Priming of microbial microcystin degradation in biomass-fed gravity driven membrane filtration biofilms


Silva, Marisa O D; Blom, Judith F; Yankova, Yana; Villiger, Jörg; Pernthaler, Jakob (2018). Priming of microbial microcystin degradation in biomass-fed gravity driven membrane filtration biofilms. Systematic and Applied Microbiology, 41(3):221-231.

Abstract

Gravity-driven membrane (GDM) filtration is a promising tool for low-cost decentralized drinking water production. The biofilms in GDM systems are able of removing harmful chemical components, particularly toxic cyanobacterial metabolites such as microcystins (MCs). This is relevant for the application of GDM filtration because anthropogenic nutrient input and climate change have led to an increase of toxic cyanobacterial blooms. However, removal of MCs in newly developing GDM biofilms is only established after a prolonged period of time. Since cyanobacterial blooms are transient phenomena, it is important to understand MC removal in mature biofilms with or without prior toxin exposure. In this study, the microbial community composition of GDM biofilms was investigated in systems fed with water from a lake with periodic blooms of MC-producing cyanobacteria. Two out of three experimental treatments were supplemented with dead biomass of a MC-containing cyanobacterial strain, or of a non-toxic mutant, respectively. Analysis of bacterial rRNA genes revealed that both biomass-amended treatments were significantly more similar to each other than to a non-supplemented control. Therefore, it was hypothesized that biofilms could potentially be 'primed' for rapid MC removal by prior addition of non-toxic biomass. A subsequent experiment showed that MC removal developed significantly faster in mature biofilms that were pre-fed with biomass from the mutant strain than in unamended controls, indicating that MC degradation was a facultative trait of bacterial populations in GDM biofilms. The significant enrichment of bacteria related to both aerobic and anaerobic MC degraders suggested that this process might have occurred in parallel in different microniches.

Abstract

Gravity-driven membrane (GDM) filtration is a promising tool for low-cost decentralized drinking water production. The biofilms in GDM systems are able of removing harmful chemical components, particularly toxic cyanobacterial metabolites such as microcystins (MCs). This is relevant for the application of GDM filtration because anthropogenic nutrient input and climate change have led to an increase of toxic cyanobacterial blooms. However, removal of MCs in newly developing GDM biofilms is only established after a prolonged period of time. Since cyanobacterial blooms are transient phenomena, it is important to understand MC removal in mature biofilms with or without prior toxin exposure. In this study, the microbial community composition of GDM biofilms was investigated in systems fed with water from a lake with periodic blooms of MC-producing cyanobacteria. Two out of three experimental treatments were supplemented with dead biomass of a MC-containing cyanobacterial strain, or of a non-toxic mutant, respectively. Analysis of bacterial rRNA genes revealed that both biomass-amended treatments were significantly more similar to each other than to a non-supplemented control. Therefore, it was hypothesized that biofilms could potentially be 'primed' for rapid MC removal by prior addition of non-toxic biomass. A subsequent experiment showed that MC removal developed significantly faster in mature biofilms that were pre-fed with biomass from the mutant strain than in unamended controls, indicating that MC degradation was a facultative trait of bacterial populations in GDM biofilms. The significant enrichment of bacteria related to both aerobic and anaerobic MC degraders suggested that this process might have occurred in parallel in different microniches.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Plant and Microbial Biology
Dewey Decimal Classification:580 Plants (Botany)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics, Microbiology
Language:English
Date:1 May 2018
Deposited On:06 Mar 2019 15:48
Last Modified:07 Mar 2019 01:00
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0723-2020
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.syapm.2017.11.009
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant IDCR32I2_149648
  • : Project TitleBIOMEMBRA: Biofilms growing on membranes: Linking physical structure and microbial community with water quality and flux

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