A Microbial Signature Approach to Identify Fecal Pollution in the Waters Off an Urbanized Coast of Lake Michigan.
ABSTRACT Urban coasts receive watershed drainage from ecosystems that include highly developed lands with sewer and stormwater infrastructure. In these complex ecosystems, coastal waters are often contaminated with fecal pollution, where multiple delivery mechanisms that often contain multiple fecal sources make it difficult to mitigate the pollution. Here, we exploit bacterial community sequencing of the V6 and V6V4 hypervariable regions of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene to identify bacterial distributions that signal the presence of sewer, fecal, and human fecal pollution. The sequences classified to three sewer infrastructure-associated bacterial genera, Acinetobacter, Arcobacter, and Trichococcus, and five fecal-associated bacterial families, Bacteroidaceae, Porphyromonadaceae, Clostridiaceae, Lachnospiraceae, and Ruminococcaceae, served as signatures of sewer and fecal contamination, respectively. The human fecal signature was determined with the Bayesian source estimation program SourceTracker, which we applied to a set of 40 sewage influent samples collected in Milwaukee, WI, USA to identify operational taxonomic units (≥97 % identity) that were most likely of human fecal origin. During periods of dry weather, the magnitudes of all three signatures were relatively low in Milwaukee's urban rivers and harbor and nearly zero in Lake Michigan. However, the relative contribution of the sewer and fecal signature frequently increased to >2 % of the measured surface water communities following sewer overflows. Also during combined sewer overflows, the ratio of the human fecal pollution signature to the fecal pollution signature in surface waters was generally close to that of sewage, but this ratio decreased dramatically during dry weather and rain events, suggesting that nonhuman fecal pollution was the dominant source during these weather-driven scenarios. The qPCR detection of two human fecal indicators, human Bacteroides and Lachno2, confirmed the urban fecal footprint in this ecosystem extends to at least 8 km offshore.
- SourceAvailable from: Edoardo Guerrini[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are a rapidly growing technology for energy production from wastewater and biomasses. In a MFC, a microbial biofilm oxidizes organic matter and transfers electrons from reduced compounds to an anode as the electron acceptor by extracellular electron transfer (EET). The aim of this work was to characterize the microbial communities operating in a Single Chamber Microbial Fuel Cell (SCMFC) fed with acetate and inoculated with a biogas digestate in order to gain more insight into anodic and cathodic EET. Taxonomic characterization of the communities was carried out by Illumina sequencing of a fragment of the 16S rRNA gene. Microorganisms belonging to Geovibrio genus and purple non-sulfur (PNS) bacteria were found to be dominant in the anodic biofilm. The alkaliphilic genus Nitrincola and anaerobic microorganisms belonging to Porphyromonadaceae family were the most abundant bacteria in the cathodic biofilm.New Biotechnology 10/2014; · 2.11 Impact Factor
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Arcobacter species are highly abundant in sewage where they often comprise approximately 5-11% of the bacterial community. Oligotyping of sequences amplified from the V4V5 region of the 16S rRNA gene revealed Arcobacter populations from different cities were similar and dominated by one to three members, with extremely high microdiversity in the minor members. Overall, nine subgroups within the Arcobacter genus accounted for >80% of the total Arcobacter sequences in all samples analyzed. The distribution of oligotypes varied by both sample site and temperature, with samples from the same site generally being more similar to each other than other sites. Seven oligotypes matched with 100% identity to characterized Arcobacter species, but the remaining 19 abundant oligotypes appear to be unknown species. Sequences representing the two most abundant oligotypes matched exactly to the reference strains for A. cryaerophilus group 1B (CCUG 17802) and group 1A (CCUG 17801), respectively. Oligotype 1 showed generally lower relative abundance in colder samples and higher relative abundance in warmer samples; the converse was true for Oligotype 2. Ten other oligotypes had significant positive or negative correlations between temperature and proportion in samples as well. The oligotype that corresponded to A. butzleri, the Arcobacter species most commonly isolated by culturing in sewage studies, was only the eleventh most abundant oligotype. This work suggests that Arcobacter populations within sewer infrastructure are modulated by temperature. Furthermore, current culturing methods used for identification of Arcobacter fail to identify some abundant members of the community and may underestimate the presence of species with affinities for growth at lower temperatures. Understanding the ecological factors that affect the survival and growth of Arcobacter spp. in sewer infrastructure may better inform the risks associated with these emerging pathogens.Frontiers in Microbiology 11/2014; 5:1-9. · 3.94 Impact Factor
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Local and regional associations between bacterial communities and nutrient and chemical concentrations were assessed in the Upper Mississippi River in Minnesota to determine if community structure was associated with discrete types of chemical inputs associated with different land cover. Bacterial communities were characterized by Illumina sequencing of the V6 region of 16S rDNA and compared to >40 chemical and nutrient concentrations. Local bacterial community structure was shaped primarily by associations among bacterial orders. However, order abundances were correlated regionally with nutrient and chemical concentrations, and were also related to major land coverage types. Total organic carbon and total dissolved solids were among the primary abiotic factors associated with local community composition and co-varied with land cover. Escherichia coli concentration was poorly related to community composition or nutrient concentrations. Abundances of 14 bacterial orders were related to land coverage type, and seven showed significant differences in abundance (P ≤ 0.046) between forested or anthropogenically-impacted sites. This study identifies specific bacterial orders that were associated with chemicals and nutrients derived from specific land cover types and may be useful in assessing water quality. Results of this study reveal the need to investigate community dynamics at both the local and regional scales and to identify shifts in taxonomic community structure that may be useful in determining sources of pollution in the Upper Mississippi River.Frontiers in Microbiology 10/2014; 5:524. · 3.94 Impact Factor