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Metabolomics Uncovers the Regulatory Pathway of Acyl-homoserine Lactones Based Quorum Sensing in Anammox Consortia

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journal contribution
posted on 29.01.2018, 00:00 by Xi Tang, Yongzhao Guo, Shanshan Wu, Liming Chen, Huchun Tao, Sitong Liu
Acyl-homoserine lactones (AHLs)-mediated quorum sensing in bacterial communities have been extensively observed. However, the metabolic pathways regulated by AHLs in bacteria remain elusive. Here, we combined long-term reactor operation with microbiological and metabolomics analyses to explore the regulatory pathways for different AHLs in anammox consortia, which perform promising nitrogen removal for wastewater treatment. The results showed that no obvious shifts induced by exogenous AHLs occurred in the microbial community and, mainly, dosing AHLs induced changes in the metabolites. 3OC6-HSL, C6-HSL, and C8-HSL controlled the electron transport carriers that influence the bacterial activity. In contrast, only 3OC6-HSL regulated LysoPC(20:0) metabolism, which affected bacterial growth. AHLs mainly regulated the synthesis of the amino acids Ala, Val, and Glu and selectively regulated Asp and Leu to affect extracellular proteins. Simultaneously, all the AHLs regulated the ManNAc biosynthetic pathways, while OC6-HSL, OC8-HSL, and C6-HSL particularly enriched the UDP-GlcNAc pathway to promote exopolysaccharides, resulting in different aggregation levels of the anammox consortia. Our results not only provide the first metabolic insights into the means by which AHLs affect anammox consortia but also hint at potential strategies for overcoming the limitations of the long start-up period required for wastewater treatment by anammox processing.