When groundwater is recharged with reclaimed water, the presence of trace amounts of biorefractory pentabromodiphenyl ether (PBDE, specifically BDE-99) might cause potential groundwater pollution. A laboratory-scale column was designed to investigate the distribution of the community of archaea in this scenario and the associated anaerobic degradation of BDE-99. The concentration of BDE-99 decreased significantly as soil depth increased, and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis suggested that archaea exerted significant effects on the biodegradation of PBDE. Through 454 pyrosequencing of 16s rRNA genes, we found that the distribution and structure of the archaeal community associated with anaerobic degradation of BDE-99 in the river-based aquifer media changed significantly between different soil depths. The primary debrominated metabolites varied with changes in the vertically distributed archaeal community. The archaea in the surface layer were dominated by Methanomethylovorans, and the middle layer was mainly composed of Nitrososphaera. Nitrosopumilus and Nitrososphaera were equally abundant in the bottom layer. In addition, Methanomethylovorans abundance depended on the depth of soil, and the relative abundance of Nitrosopumilus increased with increasing depth, which was associated with the oxidation-reduction potential and the content of intermediate metabolites. We propose that Nitrososphaera and Nitrosopumilus might be the key archaeal taxa mediating the biodegradation of BDE-99.
Environmental Science and Pollution Research – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 4, 2017
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