Comparable dynamics of linuron catabolic genes and IncP-1 plasmids in biopurification systems (BPSs) as a response to linuron spiking
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On-farm biopurification systems (BPSs) represent an efficient technology for treating pesticide-contaminated wastewater. Biodegradation by genetically adapted bacteria has been suggested to perform a major contribution to the removal of pesticides in BPSs. Recently, several studies pointed to the role of IncP-1 plasmids in the degradation of pesticides in BPSs but this was never linked with catabolic markers. Therefore, a microcosm experiment was conducted in order to examine whether changes in mobile genetic element (MGE) abundances in response to the application of phenylurea herbicide linuron are linked with changes in catabolic genes. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) fingerprints of 16S ribosomal RNA gene fragments amplified from total community (TC)-DNA suggested significant shifts in the bacterial community composition. PCR-Southern blot-based detection of genes involved in linuron hydrolysis (libA and hylA) or degradation of its metabolite 3,4-dichloroaniline (dcaQ I , dcaQ II , and ccdC) in TC-DNA showed that the abundance of the hylA gene was increased faster and stronger in response to linuron application than that of the libA gene, and that the dcaQ II gene was more abundant than the isofunctional gene dcaQ I 20 and 60 days after linuron addition. Furthermore, a significant increase in the relative abundance of the IncP-1-specific korB gene in response to linuron was recorded. Our data suggest that different bacterial populations bearing isofunctional genes coding for enzymes degrading linuron seemed to be enriched in BPSs in response to linuron and that IncP-1 plasmids might be involved in their dissemination.
KeywordsTotal community DNA 16S rRNA genes Degradative genes PCR hybridization Plasmids
The authors thank Ilse-Marie Jungkurth (Julius Kühn-Institut, Braunschweig) for critically reading the manuscript.
Compliance with ethical standards
This study was supported by the EU 7th Framework Programme project MetaExplore 222625.
Conflict of interest
The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.
This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.
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