McMahon, Katherine D.


Publications (12)

Reevaluation of the Phylogenetic Diversity and Global Distribution of the Genus “ <i>Candidatus</i> Accumulibacter”

Citation
Petriglieri et al. (2022). mSystems 7 (3)
Names
Ca. Accumulibacter
Subjects
Biochemistry Computer Science Applications Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics Genetics Microbiology Modeling and Simulation Molecular Biology Physiology
Abstract
“ Candidatus Accumulibacter” is the most studied PAO, with a primary role in biological nutrient removal. However, the species-level taxonomy of this lineage is convoluted due to the use of different phylogenetic markers or genome sequencing approaches. Here, we redefined the phylogeny of these organisms, proposing a comprehensive approach which could be used to address the classification of other diverse and uncultivated lineages.

Re-evaluation of the phylogenetic diversity and global distribution of the genus Candidatus Accumulibacter

Citation
Petriglieri et al. [posted content, 2021]
Names
Ca. Accumulibacter phosphatis Ca. Accumulibacter
Abstract
AbstractCandidatus Accumulibacter was the first microorganism identified as a polyphosphate-accumulating organism (PAO), important for phosphorus removal from wastewater. This genus is diverse, and the current phylogeny and taxonomic framework appears complicated, with the majority of publicly available genomes classified as “Candidatus Accumulibacter phosphatis”, despite notable phylogenetic divergence. The ppk1 marker gene allows for a finer scale differentiation into different “types” and “clades”, nevertheless taxonomic assignments remain confusing and inconsistent across studies. Therefore, a comprehensive re-evaluation is needed to establish a common understanding of this genus, both in terms of naming and basic conserved physiological traits. Here, we provide this re-assessment using a comparison of genome, ppk1, and 16S rRNA gene-based approaches from comprehensive datasets. We identified 15 novel species, along with the well-known Ca. A. phosphatis, Ca. A. deltensis and Ca. A. aalborgensis. To compare the species in situ, we designed new species-specific FISH probes and revealed their morphology and arrangement in activated sludge. Based on the MiDAS global survey, Ca. Accumulibacter species were widespread in WWTPs with phosphorus removal, indicating the process design as a major driver for their abundance. Genome mining for PAO related pathways and FISH-Raman microspectroscopy confirmed the potential for the PAO metabolism in all Ca. Accumulibacter species, with detection in situ of the typical PAO storage polymers. Genome annotation further revealed fine-scale differences in the nitrate/nitrite reduction pathways. This provides insights into the niche differentiation of these lineages, potentially explaining their coexistence in the same ecosystem while contributing to overall phosphorus and nitrogen removal.ImportanceCandidatus Accumulibacter is the most studied PAO organism, with a primary role in biological nutrient removal. However, the species-level taxonomy of this lineage is convoluted due to the use of different phylogenetic markers or genome sequencing. Here, we redefined the phylogeny of these organisms, proposing a comprehensive approach which could be used to address the classification of other diverse and uncultivated lineages. Using genome-resolved phylogeny, compared to 16S rRNA gene- and other phylogenetic markers phylogeny, we obtained a higher resolution taxonomy and established a common understanding of this genus. Furthermore, genome mining of gene and pathways of interest, validated in situ by application of a new set of FISH probes and Raman micromicrospectroscopy, provided additional high-resolution metabolic insights into these organisms.

Autotrophic and mixotrophic metabolism of an anammox bacterium revealed by in vivo13C and 2H metabolic network mapping

Citation
Lawson et al. [posted content, 2019]
Names
Ca. Kuenenia stuttgartiensis
Abstract
AbstractAnaerobic ammonium-oxidizing (anammox) bacteria mediate a key step in the biogeochemical nitrogen cycle and have been applied worldwide for the energy-efficient removal of nitrogen from wastewater. However, outside their core energy metabolism, little is known about the metabolic networks driving anammox bacterial anabolism and mixotrophy beyond genome-based predictions. Here, we experimentally resolved the central carbon metabolism of the anammox bacterium Candidatus ‘Kuenenia stuttgartiensis’ using time-series 13C and 2H isotope tracing, metabolomics, and isotopically nonstationary metabolic flux analysis (INST-MFA). Our findings confirm predicted metabolic pathways used for CO2 fixation, central metabolism, and amino acid biosynthesis in K. stuttgartiensis, and reveal several instances where genomic predictions are not supported by in vivo metabolic fluxes. This includes the use of an oxidative tricarboxylic acid cycle, despite the genome not encoding a known citrate synthase. We also demonstrate that K. stuttgartiensis is able to directly assimilate extracellular formate via the Wood-Ljungdahl pathway instead of oxidizing it completely to CO2 followed by reassimilation. In contrast, our data suggests that K. stuttgartiensis is not capable of using acetate as a carbon or energy source in situ and that acetate oxidation occurred via the metabolic activity of a low-abundance microorganism in the bioreactor’s side population. Together, these findings provide a foundation for understanding the carbon metabolism of anammox bacteria at a systems-level and will inform future studies aimed at elucidating factors governing their function and niche differentiation in natural and engineered ecosystems.

Integrated Omic Analyses Provide Evidence that a “ Candidatus Accumulibacter phosphatis” Strain Performs Denitrification under Microaerobic Conditions

Citation
Camejo et al. (2019). mSystems 4 (1)
Names
Ca. Accumulibacter phosphatis
Subjects
Biochemistry Computer Science Applications Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics Genetics Microbiology Modelling and Simulation Molecular Biology Physiology
Abstract
“ Candidatus Accumulibacter phosphatis” is widely found in full-scale wastewater treatment plants, where it has been identified as the key organism for biological removal of phosphorus. Since aeration can account for 50% of the energy use during wastewater treatment, microaerobic conditions for wastewater treatment have emerged as a cost-effective alternative to conventional biological nutrient removal processes. Our report provides strong genomics-based evidence not only that “ Ca . Accumulibacter phosphatis” is the main organism contributing to phosphorus removal under microaerobic conditions but also that this organism simultaneously respires nitrate and oxygen in this environment, consequently removing nitrogen and phosphorus from the wastewater. Such activity could be harnessed in innovative designs for cost-effective and energy-efficient optimization of wastewater treatment systems.

Genome-Enabled Insights into the Ecophysiology of the Comammox Bacterium “ Candidatus Nitrospira nitrosa”

Citation
Camejo et al. (2017). mSystems 2 (5)
Names
Ca. Nitrospira nitrosa
Subjects
Biochemistry Computer Science Applications Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics Genetics Microbiology Modelling and Simulation Molecular Biology Physiology
Abstract
Nitrospira -like bacteria are among the most diverse and widespread nitrifiers in natural ecosystems and the dominant nitrite oxidizers in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). The recent discovery of comammox-like Nitrospira strains, capable of complete oxidation of ammonia to nitrate, raises new questions about specific traits responsible for the functional versatility and adaptation of this genus to a variety of environments. The availability of new Nitrospira genome sequences from both nitrite-oxidizing and comammox bacteria offers a way to analyze traits in different Nitrospira functional groups. Our comparative genomics analysis provided new insights into the adaptation of Nitrospira strains to specific lifestyles and environmental niches.

Bacterial Community and “ Candidatus Accumulibacter” Population Dynamics in Laboratory-Scale Enhanced Biological Phosphorus Removal Reactors

Citation
He et al. (2010). Applied and Environmental Microbiology 76 (16)
Names
Ca. Accumulibacter
Subjects
Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology Biotechnology Ecology Food Science
Abstract
ABSTRACT “ Candidatus Accumulibacter” and total bacterial community dynamics were studied in two lab-scale enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) reactors by using a community fingerprint technique, automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA). We first evaluated the quantitative capability of ARISA compared to quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR). ARISA and qPCR provided comparable relative quantification of the two dominant “ Ca . Accumulibacter” clades (IA and IIA) detected in our reactors. The quantification of total “ Ca . Accumulibacter” 16S rRNA genes relative to that from the total bacterial community was highly correlated, with ARISA systematically underestimating “ Ca . Accumulibacter” abundance, probably due to the different normalization techniques applied. During 6 months of normal (undisturbed) operation, the distribution of the two clades within the total “ Ca . Accumulibacter” population was quite stable in one reactor while comparatively dynamic in the other reactor. However, the variance in the clade distribution did not appear to affect reactor performance. Instead, good EBPR activity was positively associated with the abundance of total “ Ca . Accumulibacter.” Therefore, we concluded that the different clades in the system provided functional redundancy. We disturbed the reactor operation by adding nitrate together with acetate feeding in the anaerobic phase to reach initial reactor concentrations of 10 mg/liter NO 3 -N for 35 days. The reactor performance deteriorated with a concomitant decrease in the total “ Ca . Accumulibacter” population, suggesting that a population shift was the cause of performance upset after a long exposure to nitrate in the anaerobic phase.