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Frontiers of Environmental Science & Engineering >> 2021, Volume 15, Issue 2 doi: 10.1007/s11783-020-1315-0

Stress-related ecophysiology of members of the genus

1. Earth Ocean and Atmospheric Science Department, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306, USA
2. National Centre for Microbial Resource, National Centre for Cell Science, Maharashtra, Pune-411007, India
3. Genome Research Core, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60607, USA
4. Department of Biological Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60607, USA
5. Georgia Institute of Technology Schools of Biology and Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA
6. Symbiosis School of Biological Sciences, Symbiosis International (Deemed University), Lavale, Pune-412115, India

Available online: 2020-09-09

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Abstract • Rhodanobacter spp. are dominant in acidic, high nitrate and metal contaminated sites. • Dominance of Rhodanobacter is likely due to tolerance to low pH and heavy metals. • High organic content increases stress tolerance capacity. • Longer incubation time is critical for accurate assessment of MIC (various stresses). This work examines the physiologic basis of stress tolerance in bacterial strains of the genus Rhodanobacter that dominate in the acidic and highly metal contaminated near-source subsurface zone of the Oak Ridge Integrated Field Research Challenge (ORIFRC) site. Tolerance of R. denitrificans to levels of different stresses were studied in synthetic groundwater medium and R2A broth. Two strains of R. denitrificans, strains 2APBS1T and 116-2, tolerate low to circumneutral pH (4–8), high Uranium (1 mmol/L), elevated levels of nitrate (400 mmol/L) and high NaCl (2.5%). A combination of physiologic traits, such as growth at low pH, increased growth in the presence of high organics concentration, and tolerance of high concentrations of nitrate, NaCl and heavy metals is likely responsible for dominance of Rhodanobacter at the ORIFRC site. Furthermore, extended incubation times and use of low carbon media, better approximating site groundwater conditions, are critical for accurate determination of stress responses. This study expands knowledge of the ecophysiology of bacteria from the genus Rhodanobacter and identifies methodological approaches necessary for acquiring accurate tolerance data.

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