Response of a diuron-degrading community to diuron exposure assessed by real-time quantitative PCR monitoring of phenylurea hydrolase A and B encoding genes

Abstract

A real-time quantitative PCR method was developed to detect and quantify phenlylurea hydrolase genes’ (puhA and puhB) sequences from environmental DNA samples to assess diuron-degrading genetic potential in some soil and sediment microbial communities. In the soil communities, mineralization rates (determined with [ring-14C]-labeled diuron) were linked to diuron-degrading genetic potentials estimated from puhB number copies, which increased following repeated diuron treatments. In the sediment communities, mineralization potential did not depend solely on the quantity of puhB copies, underlining the need to assess gene expression. In the sediment samples, both puhB copy numbers and mineralization capacities were highly conditioned by whether or not diuron-treated soil was added. This points to transfers of degradative potential from soils to sediments. No puhA gene was detected in soil and sediment DNA extracts. Moreover, some sediments exhibited high diuron mineralization potential even though puhB genes were not detected, suggesting the existence of alternative diuron degradation pathways.

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Acknowledgments

We thank ATT for editing the English-language version of the manuscript and David Bru for technical help in qPCR analysis. This project was supported by funding from the French National Office for the Aquatic Environment (ONEMA; convention no. C000114010), and the authors personally thank Nicolas Domange for insightful discussion.

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Correspondence to Stéphane Pesce.

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Pesce, S., Beguet, J., Rouard, N. et al. Response of a diuron-degrading community to diuron exposure assessed by real-time quantitative PCR monitoring of phenylurea hydrolase A and B encoding genes. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 97, 1661–1668 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00253-012-4318-3

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Keywords

  • Biodegradation
  • Microbial communities
  • Mineralization
  • Pesticides
  • Phenylurea hydrolases
  • qPCR