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Genetic Bioaugmentation of Activated Sludge with Dioxin-Catabolic Plasmids Harbored by Rhodococcus sp. Strain p52

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journal contribution
posted on 02.04.2018, 00:00 by Chongyang Ren, Yiying Wang, Lili Tian, Meng Chen, Jiao Sun, Li Li
Horizontal transfer of catabolic plasmids is used in genetic bioaugmentation for environmental pollutant remediation. In this study, we examined the effectiveness of genetic bioaugmentation with dioxin-catabolic plasmids harbored by Rhodococcus sp. strain p52 in laboratory-scale sequencing batch reactors (SBRs). During 100 days of operation, bioaugmentation decreased the dibenzofuran content (120 mg L–1) in the synthetic wastewater by 32.6%–100% of that in the nonbioaugmented SBR. Additionally, dibenzofuran was removed to undetectable levels in the bioaugmented SBR, in contrast, 46.8 ± 4.1% of that in the influent remained in the nonbioaugmented SBR after 96 days. Moreover, transconjugants harboring pDF01 and pDF02 were isolated from the bioaugmented SBR after 2 days, and their abilities to degrade dibenzofuran were confirmed. After 80 days, the copy numbers of strain p52 decreased by 3 orders of magnitude and accounted for 0.05 ± 0.01% of the total bacteria, while transconjugants were present at around 106 copies mL–1 sludge and accounted for 8.2 ± 0.3% of the total bacteria. Evaluation of the bacterial community profile of sludge by high-throughput 16S rRNA gene sequencing revealed that genetic bioaugmentation led to a bacterial community with an even distribution of genera in the SBR. This study demonstrates the promise of genetic bioaugmentation with catabolic plasmids for dioxins remediation.