Lignocellulose-degrading microbial communities in landfill sites represent a repository of unexplored biomass-degrading diversity

Emma Ransom-Jones, Alan J. McCarthy, Sam Haldenby, James Doonan, James E. McDonald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The microbial conversion of lignocellulosic biomass for biofuel production represents a renewable alternative to fossil fuels. However, the discovery of new microbial enzymes with high activity is critical for improving biomass conversion processes. While attempts to identify superior lignocellulose-degrading enzymes have focused predominantly on the animal gut, biomass-degrading communities in landfill sites represent an unexplored resource of hydrolytic enzymes for biomass conversion. Here, to address the paucity of information on biomass-degrading microbial diversity beyond the gastrointestinal tract, cellulose (cotton) "baits" were incubated in landfill leachate microcosms to enrich the landfill cellulolytic microbial community for taxonomic and functional characterization. Metagenome and 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing demonstrated the dominance of Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Spirochaetes, and Fibrobacteres in the landfill cellulolytic community. Functional metagenome analysis revealed 8,371 carbohydrate active enzymes (CAZymes) belonging to 244 CAZyme families. In addition to observing biomass-degrading enzymes of anaerobic bacterial "cellulosome" systems of members of the Firmicutes, we report the first detection of the Fibrobacter cellulase system and the Bacteroidetes polysaccharide utilization locus (PUL) in landfill sites. These data provide evidence for the presence of multiple mechanisms of biomass degradation in the landfill microbiome and highlight the extraordinary functional diversity of landfill microorganisms as a rich source of biomass-degrading enzymes of potential biotechnological significance.

LanguageEnglish
Article numbere00300-17
Number of pages13
JournalmSphere
Volume2
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Aug 2017
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Waste Disposal Facilities
Biomass
Enzymes
Metagenome
Bacteroidetes
Fibrobacteres
Fibrobacter
Cellulosomes
Chemical Water Pollutants
Fossil Fuels
Spirochaetales
Biofuels
lignocellulose
Cellulase
Microbiota
rRNA Genes
Cellulose
Polysaccharides
Gastrointestinal Tract
Carbohydrates

Cite this

Ransom-Jones, Emma ; McCarthy, Alan J. ; Haldenby, Sam ; Doonan, James ; McDonald, James E. / Lignocellulose-degrading microbial communities in landfill sites represent a repository of unexplored biomass-degrading diversity. In: mSphere. 2017 ; Vol. 2, No. 4.
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Lignocellulose-degrading microbial communities in landfill sites represent a repository of unexplored biomass-degrading diversity. / Ransom-Jones, Emma; McCarthy, Alan J.; Haldenby, Sam; Doonan, James; McDonald, James E.

In: mSphere, Vol. 2, No. 4, e00300-17, 02.08.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - Lignocellulose-degrading microbial communities in landfill sites represent a repository of unexplored biomass-degrading diversity

AU - Ransom-Jones, Emma

AU - McCarthy, Alan J.

AU - Haldenby, Sam

AU - Doonan, James

AU - McDonald, James E.

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AB - The microbial conversion of lignocellulosic biomass for biofuel production represents a renewable alternative to fossil fuels. However, the discovery of new microbial enzymes with high activity is critical for improving biomass conversion processes. While attempts to identify superior lignocellulose-degrading enzymes have focused predominantly on the animal gut, biomass-degrading communities in landfill sites represent an unexplored resource of hydrolytic enzymes for biomass conversion. Here, to address the paucity of information on biomass-degrading microbial diversity beyond the gastrointestinal tract, cellulose (cotton) "baits" were incubated in landfill leachate microcosms to enrich the landfill cellulolytic microbial community for taxonomic and functional characterization. Metagenome and 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing demonstrated the dominance of Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Spirochaetes, and Fibrobacteres in the landfill cellulolytic community. Functional metagenome analysis revealed 8,371 carbohydrate active enzymes (CAZymes) belonging to 244 CAZyme families. In addition to observing biomass-degrading enzymes of anaerobic bacterial "cellulosome" systems of members of the Firmicutes, we report the first detection of the Fibrobacter cellulase system and the Bacteroidetes polysaccharide utilization locus (PUL) in landfill sites. These data provide evidence for the presence of multiple mechanisms of biomass degradation in the landfill microbiome and highlight the extraordinary functional diversity of landfill microorganisms as a rich source of biomass-degrading enzymes of potential biotechnological significance.

KW - Bacteroidetes

KW - Biomass

KW - CAZymes

KW - Cellulose degradation

KW - Cultivation

KW - Fibrobacter

KW - Firmicutes

KW - Genomics

KW - Landfill

KW - Metagenomics

KW - Microbial ecology

KW - Spirochaetes

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SN - 2379-5042

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