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Environ Pollut. 2019 May;248:916-928. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2019.02.089. Epub 2019 Mar 1.

Response of microbial communities and interactions to thallium in contaminated sediments near a pyrite mining area.

Author information

1
Institute of Environmental Research at Greater Bay, Key Laboratory of Water Quality and Conservation in the Pearl River Delta, Ministry of Education, School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Guangzhou University, Guangzhou, 510006, China.
2
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China.
3
Institute of Environmental Research at Greater Bay, Key Laboratory of Water Quality and Conservation in the Pearl River Delta, Ministry of Education, School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Guangzhou University, Guangzhou, 510006, China. Electronic address: wangjin@gzhu.edu.cn.
4
School of Life & Environmental Science, Wenzhou University, Wenzhou, 325027, China.
5
MOE Key Laboratory of Resources and Environmental System Optimization, College of Environmental Science and Engineering, North China Electric Power University, Beijing, 102206, China.
6
Guangdong Provincial Research Center for Environment Pollution Control and Remediation Materials, Department of Ecology, College of Life Science and Technology, Jinan University, Guangzhou, 510632, China.
7
School of Life Sciences, Guangzhou University, Guangzhou, 510655, China. Electronic address: houliping@gzhu.edu.cn.

Abstract

Thallium (Tl) is a well-recognized hazardous heavy metal with very high toxicity. It is usually concentrated in sulfide minerals, such as pyrite (FeS2), sphalerite (ZnS), chalcopyrite (CuS) and galena (PbS). Here, this study was carried out to investigate the indigenous microbial communities via 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis in typical surface sediments with various levels of Tl pollution (1.8-16.1 mg/kg) due to acid mine drainage from an active Tl-containing pyrite mining site in South China. It was found with more than 50 phyla from the domain Bacteria and 1 phyla from the domain Archaea. Sequences assigned to the genera Ferroplasma, Leptospirillum, Ferrovum, Metallibacterium, Acidithiobacillus, and Sulfuriferula manifested high relative abundances in all sequencing libraries from the relatively high Tl contamination. Canonical correspondence analysis further uncovered that the overall microbial community in this area was dominantly structured by the geochemical fractionation of Tl and geochemical parameters such as pH and Eh. Spearman's rank correlation analysis indicated a strong positive correlation between acidophilic Fe-metabolizing species and Tltotal, Tloxi, and Tlres. The findings clarify potential roles of such phylotypes in the biogeochemical cycling of Tl, which may facilitate the development of in-situ bioremediation technology for Tl-contaminated sediments.

KEYWORDS:

(1)Spatial distribution; Fe-metabolizing bacteria; High-throughput sequencing; Thallium pollution

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