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Open AccessArticle

Combined Use of Diagnostic Fumarate Addition Metabolites and Genes Provides Evidence for Anaerobic Hydrocarbon Biodegradation in Contaminated Groundwater

Department of Biological Sciences, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada
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Microorganisms 2020, 8(10), 1532; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms8101532
Received: 14 September 2020 / Revised: 28 September 2020 / Accepted: 28 September 2020 / Published: 6 October 2020
The widespread use of hydrocarbon-based fuels has led to the contamination of many natural environments due to accidental spills or leaks. While anaerobic microorganisms indigenous to many fuel-contaminated groundwater sites can play a role in site remediation (e.g., monitored natural attenuation, MNA) via hydrocarbon biodegradation, multiple lines of evidence in support of such bioremediation are required. In this study, we investigated two fuel-contaminated groundwater sites for their potential to be managed by MNA. Microbial community composition, biogeochemical indicators, fumarate addition metabolites, and genes diagnostic of both alkane and alkyl-monoaromatic hydrocarbon activation were assessed. Fumarate addition metabolites and catabolic genes were detected for both classes of hydrocarbon biodegradation at both sites, providing strong evidence for in situ anaerobic hydrocarbon biodegradation. However, relevant metabolites and genes did not consistently co-occur within all groundwater samples. Using newly designed mixtures of quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) primers to target diverse assA and bssA genes, we measured assA gene abundances ranging from 105–108 copies/L, and bssA gene abundances ranging from 105–1010 copies/L at the sites. Overall, this study demonstrates the value of investigating fuel-contaminated sites using both metabolites and genes diagnostic of anaerobic hydrocarbon biodegradation for different classes of hydrocarbons to help assess field sites for management by MNA. View Full-Text
Keywords: hydrocarbon-contaminated groundwater; anaerobic biodegradation; hydrocarbon bioremediation; fumarate addition metabolites; assA gene; bssA gene hydrocarbon-contaminated groundwater; anaerobic biodegradation; hydrocarbon bioremediation; fumarate addition metabolites; assA gene; bssA gene
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kharey, G.; Scheffer, G.; Gieg, L.M. Combined Use of Diagnostic Fumarate Addition Metabolites and Genes Provides Evidence for Anaerobic Hydrocarbon Biodegradation in Contaminated Groundwater. Microorganisms 2020, 8, 1532. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms8101532

AMA Style

Kharey G, Scheffer G, Gieg LM. Combined Use of Diagnostic Fumarate Addition Metabolites and Genes Provides Evidence for Anaerobic Hydrocarbon Biodegradation in Contaminated Groundwater. Microorganisms. 2020; 8(10):1532. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms8101532

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kharey, Gurpreet; Scheffer, Gabrielle; Gieg, Lisa M. 2020. "Combined Use of Diagnostic Fumarate Addition Metabolites and Genes Provides Evidence for Anaerobic Hydrocarbon Biodegradation in Contaminated Groundwater" Microorganisms 8, no. 10: 1532. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms8101532

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