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Environ Int. 2019 Jun 19;130:104926. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2019.104926. [Epub ahead of print]

Microbial chromate reduction coupled with anaerobic oxidation of methane in a membrane biofilm reactor.

Author information

1
Advanced Water Management Centre, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Queensland 4072, Australia; School of Environmental and Chemical Engineering, Shanghai University, 333 Nanchen Road, Shanghai 200444, PR China.
2
Advanced Water Management Centre, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Queensland 4072, Australia.
3
School of Environmental and Chemical Engineering, Shanghai University, 333 Nanchen Road, Shanghai 200444, PR China.
4
Advanced Water Management Centre, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Queensland 4072, Australia. Electronic address: j.guo@awmc.uq.edu.au.

Abstract

It has been reported that microbial reduction of sulfate, nitrite/nitrate and iron/manganese could be coupled with anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM), which plays a significant role in controlling methane emission from anoxic niches. However, little is known about microbial chromate (Cr(VI)) reduction coupling with AOM. In this study, a microbial consortium was enriched via switching nitrate dosing to chromate feeding as the sole electron acceptor under anaerobic condition in a membrane biofilm reactor (MBfR), in which methane was continuously provided as the electron donor through bubble-less hollow fiber membranes. According to long-term reactor operation and chromium speciation analysis, soluble chromate could be reduced into Cr(III) compounds by using methane as electron donor. Fluorescence in situ hybridization and high-throughput 16S rRNA gene amplicon profiling further indicated that after feeding chromate Candidatus 'Methanoperedens' (a known nitrate-dependent anaerobic methane oxidation archaeon) became sole anaerobic methanotroph in the biofilm, potentially responsible for the chromate bio-reduction driven by methane. Two potential pathways of the microbial AOM-coupled chromate reduction were proposed: (i) Candidatus 'Methanoperedens' independently utilizes chromate as electron acceptor to form Cr(III) compounds, or (ii) Candidatus 'Methanoperedens' oxidizes methane to generate intermediates or electrons, which will be utilized to reduce chromate to Cr(III) compounds by unknown chromate reducers synergistically. Our findings suggest a possible link between the biogeochemical chromium and methane cycles.

KEYWORDS:

Anaerobic oxidation of methane; Candidatus ‘Methanoperedens’; Cr(III) compounds; Membrane biofilm reactor; Microbial chromate reduction

PMID:
31228790
DOI:
10.1016/j.envint.2019.104926
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