AbstractCandidatusAccumulibacter is a key genus of polyphosphate-accumulating organisms (PAOs) found in laboratory- and full-scale wastewater treatment systems, mediating enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR). However, little is known about their ability to resist phage infection. We conducted a systematic analysis of the occurrence and characteristics of clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats and associated proteins (CRISPR-Cas) systems and prophages in diverseCa.Accumulibacter taxa (43 in total, including 10 newly recovered genomes). Fourty complete CRISPR loci were identified in 28 genomes, falling into 6 subtypes. The occurrence and distribution of CRISPR-Cas systems did not follow a vertical evolutionary relationship. Phylogenetic analyses of thecasgenes and direct repeats (DRs) suggested that the CRISPR-Cas systems were likely acquired via horizontal gene transfer, with acquisition rates higher than those of speciation, rendering differentCa.Accumulibacter distinct adaptivity to phage predations. 2448 spacers were identified, 67 of them matched to known phages. Major differences were observed among the numbers of spacers for differentCa.Accumulibacter, showing unique phages that could be resisted by different members. A comparison of the spacers in genomes having the samecasgene but from distinct geographical locations indicated that habitat isolation may have resulted in the acquisition of different spacers by differentCa. Accumulibacter. Metagenomic analysis allowed the identification of 26 viral contigs (18 are Caudovirales members) in 6 metagenomic datasets from three lab-scale enrichment reactors, matching to 73 spacers in 10Ca.Accumulibacter genomes in these reactors, showing the specific immunity of theseCa.Accumulibacter. Metatranscriptomic analyses showed the activity of the CRISPR-Cas system under both anaerobic and aerobic conditions. Extra efforts were made to identify prophages inCa.Accumulibacter genomes. In total, 133 prophage regions were identified. Twenty-seven of them were classified as potentially active prophages. Three prophages (all are Caudovirales members, in DS2011, SCELSE-7IIH and SCELSE-5IIH, respectively) are readily activable. Differences in the occurrence of CRISPR-Cas systems and prophages inCa.Accumulibacter will lead to their distinct responses under phage predation. This study represents the first systematic analysis of CRISPR-Cas systems and prophages with combined experimental and bioinformatic methods in theCa.Accumulibacter lineage, providing new perspectives on the potential impacts of phages onCa.Accumulibacter and EBPR systems.
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.
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.
Candidatus Microthrix is one of the most common bulking filamentous microorganisms found in activated sludge wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) across the globe. One species, Ca. M. parvicella, is frequently observed, but global genus diversity, as well as important aspects of its ecology and physiology, are still unknown. Here, we use the MiDAS ecosystem-specific 16S rRNA gene database in combination with amplicon sequencing of Danish and global WWTPs to investigate Ca. Microthrix spp. diversity, distribution, and factors affecting their global presence. Only two species were abundant across the world confirming low diversity of the genus: the dominant Ca. M. parvicella and an unknown species typically present along with Ca. M. parvicella, although usually in lower abundances. Both species were mostly found in Europe at low-to-moderate temperatures and their growth was favored in municipal WWTPs with advanced process designs. As no isolate is available for the novel species, we propose the name “Candidatus Microthrix subdominans.” Ten high-quality metagenome-assembled genomes recovered from Danish WWTPs, including 6 representing the novel Ca. M. subdominans, demonstrated high genetic similarity between the two species with a likely preference for lipids, a putative capability to reduce nitrate and nitrite, and the potential to store lipids and poly-P. Ca. M. subdominans had a potentially more versatile metabolism including additional sugar transporters, higher oxygen tolerance, and the potential to use carbon monoxide as energy source. Newly designed fluorescence in situ hybridization probes revealed similar filamentous morphology for both species. Raman microspectroscopy was used to quantify the in situ levels of intracellular poly-P. Despite the observed similarities in their physiology (both by genomes and in situ), the two species showed different seasonal dynamics in Danish WWTPs through a 13-years survey, possibly indicating occupation of slightly different niches. The genomic information provides the basis for future research into in situ gene expression and regulation, while the new FISH probes provide a useful tool for further characterization in situ. This study is an important step toward understanding the ecology of Ca. Microthrix in WWTPs, which may eventually lead to optimization of control strategies for its growth in this ecosystem.
AbstractMembers of the genus Dechloromonas are often abundant in enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) systems and are recognized putative polyphosphate accumulating organisms (PAOs), but their role in phosphate removal is still unclear. Here, we used 16S rRNA gene sequencing and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) to investigate the abundance and distribution of Dechloromonas spp. in Danish and global wastewater treatment plants. The two most abundant species worldwide revealed in situ dynamics of important intracellular storage polymers, measured by FISH-Raman in activated sludge from four full-scale EBPR plants and from a lab-scale reactor fed with different substrates. Moreover, seven distinct Dechloromonas species were determined from a set of ten high-quality metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) from Danish EBPR plants, each encoding the potential for polyphosphate (poly-P), glycogen, and polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) accumulation. The two species exhibited an in situ phenotype in complete accordance with the metabolic information retrieved by the MAGs, with dynamic levels of poly-P, glycogen, and PHA during feast-famine anaerobic–aerobic cycling, legitimately placing these microorganisms among the important PAOs. They are potentially involved in denitrification showing niche partitioning within the genus and with other important PAOs. As no isolates are available for the two species, we propose the names Candidatus Dechloromonas phosphoritropha and Candidatus Dechloromonas phosphorivorans.
AbstractMembers of the genus Dechloromonas are often abundant in enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) systems and are recognized putative polyphosphate accumulating organisms (PAOs), but their role in phosphate (P) removal is still unclear. Here, we used 16S rRNA gene sequencing and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) to investigate the abundance and distribution of Dechloromonas spp. in Danish wastewater treatment plants. Two species were abundant, novel, and uncultured, and could be targeted by existing FISH probes. Raman microspectroscopy of probe-defined organisms (FISH-Raman) revealed the levels and dynamics of important intracellular storage polymers in abundant Dechloromonas spp. in the activated sludge from four full-scale EBPR plants and from a lab-scale sequencing batch reactor fed with different carbon sources (acetate, glucose, glycine, and glutamate). Moreover, 7 distinct Dechloromonas species were determined from a set of 10 high-quality metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) from Danish EBPR plants, each encoding the potential for poly-P, glycogen, and polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) accumulation. The two most abundant species exhibited an in situ phenotype in complete accordance with the metabolic information retrieved by the MAGs, with dynamic levels of poly-P, glycogen, and PHA during feast-famine anaerobic-aerobic cycling, legitimately placing these microorganisms among the important PAOs. As no isolates are available for the two species, we propose the names Candidatus Dechloromonas phosphatis and Candidatus Dechloromonas phosphovora.