Even though microbial communities can be more effective at degrading xenobiotics than cultured micro-organisms, yet little is known about the microbial strategies that underpin xenobiotic biodegradation by microbial communities. Here, we employ metagenomic community sequencing to explore the mechanisms that drive the development of 49 xenobiotic-degrading microbial communities, which were enriched from 7 contaminated soils or sediments with a range of xenobiotic compounds. We show that multiple microbial strategies likely drive the development of xenobiotic degrading communities, notably (i) presence of genes encoding catabolic enzymes to degrade xenobiotics; (ii) presence of genes encoding efflux pumps; (iii) auxiliary catabolic genes on plasmids; and (iv) positive interactions dominate microbial communities with efficient degradation. Overall, the integrated analyses of microbial ecological strategies advance our understanding of microbial processes driving the biodegradation of xenobiotics and promote the design of bioremediation systems.
- Efflux pump
- Xenobiotic catabolism
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Engineering
- Environmental Chemistry
- Waste Management and Disposal
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis