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Diversity of arsenite oxidizing bacterial communities in arsenic-rich deltaic aquifers in West Bengal, India
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Tema Environmental Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Ind Institute Science Educ and Research Kolkata, India.
Ind Institute Science Educ and Research Kolkata, India.
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Department of Water and Environmental Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2014 (English)In: Frontiers in Microbiology, ISSN 1664-302X, Vol. 5, no 602, 1-14 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

High arsenic (As) concentration in groundwater has affected human health, particularly in South-East Asia putting millions of people at risk. Biogeochemical cycling of As carried out by different bacterial groups are suggested to control the As fluxes in aquifers. A functional diversity approach in link with As precipitation was adopted to study bacterial community structures and their variation within the As contaminated Bengal Delta Plain (BDP) aquifers of India. Groundwater samples collected from two shallow aquifers in Karimpur II (West Bengal, India), during years 2010 and 2011, were investigated to trace the effects immediately after monsoon period (precipitation) on community structure and diversity of bacterial assemblages with a focus on arsenite oxidizing bacterial phyla for two successive years. The study focused on amplification, clone library generation and sequencing of the arsenite oxidase large sub-unit gene aioA and 16S rRNA marker, with respect to changes in elemental concentrations. New set of primers were designed to amplify the aioA gene as a phylogenetic marker to study taxonomically diverse arsenite oxidizing bacterial groups in these aquifers. The overall narrow distribution of bacterial communities based on aioA and 16S rRNA sequences observed was due to poor nutrient status and anoxic conditions in these As contaminated aquifers. Proteobacteria was the dominant phylum detected, within which Acidoyorax, Hydrogenophaga, Albidiferax, Bosea, and Polymorphum were the major arsenite oxidizing bacterial genera based on the number of clones sequenced. The structure of bacterial assemblages including those of arsenite oxidizing bacteria seems to have been affected by increase in major elemental concentrations (e.g., As, Fe, S, and Si) within two sampling sessions, which was supported by statistical analyses. One of the significant findings of this study is detection of novel lineages of 16S rRNA-like bacterial sequences indicating presence of indigenous bacterial communities BDP wells that can play important role in biogeochemical cycling of elements including As.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Frontiers , 2014. Vol. 5, no 602, 1-14 p.
Keyword [en]
Arsenic; aquifer; arsenite oxidation; aioA gene; phylogeny
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-113200DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2014.00602ISI: 000345856200001PubMedID: 25484877OAI: diva2:779788

Funding Agencies|Swedish Research Link-Asia Program; Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India; DST

Available from: 2015-01-13 Created: 2015-01-12 Last updated: 2016-03-31
In thesis
1. Distribution and Biogeochemical Cycling of Arsenic In Grey and Brown Sand Aquifers in the Bengal Delta Plains (India)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Distribution and Biogeochemical Cycling of Arsenic In Grey and Brown Sand Aquifers in the Bengal Delta Plains (India)
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Distribution och biogeokemiska cykler av Arsenik i grått och brunt sand akviferer i Bengal Delta Plains (Indien)
Abstract [en]

An elevated level of Arsenic (As) in aquifers from India and Bangladesh affecting the human health has been widely reported since the late 1980s. The thesis aim is to investigate the present status of As contamination and biogeochemical cycling with direct role of diverse indigenous bacterial communities in As cycling in the Bengal Delta Plain (BDP) aquifers in Nadia district, West Bengal (India). The As(III) oxidizing bacterial communities were predominant in grey sand aquifers (GSA), but were characteristically absent in brown sand aquifers (BSA). Rainwater recharge containing inorganic and organic dissolved compounds played an important role in shaping the different groups of bacterial phenotypes. It included thearsenite-oxidizing bacteria as revealed by the aioA and 16S rRNA phylogeny. These bacterial communities in BDP groundwater were assumed to utilize the dissolved and sedimentary organic carbon (DOC and SOC) as the primary carbon source for respiration, and remobilization/immobilization of As involving reductive dissolution of iron oxyhydroxides. Hence, sediment and groundwater of these aquifer waters were characterized for their different inorganic constituents (metals) and organic compound classes. There were notable differences between the groundwater DOC and SOC pools. The only similarity between these carbon pools is presence of petroleum-derived hydrocarbons. The SOC in BSA has good correlation with the clay and silt-rich fraction. Notably, As formed complexes with iron, but not manganese. Biomarker characterization in sediments showed presence of terrigenous inputs along with petroleum-derived hydrocarbons. However, these hydrocarbons were absent in BSA sediments, and so were the arsenite oxidizing bacterial communities. Although DOC in groundwater plays an important role in sustaining the microorganisms, the contrasting character of SOC in BSA and GSA strongly influence the shaping of microbial community structure and biogeochemical cycling of As. This particularly affects the natural ‘safe’ drinking water capacity. Overall, the study gives a new directionfor long-term research on As biogeochemical cycling in the contaminated BDP aquifers.

Abstract [sv]

Sedan 1980-talet har förhöjda nivåer av arsenik (As) uppmätts i akvifärer i Indien och Bangladesh, vilket kan orsaka stora hälsoproblem då arsenik är giftigt för människor. Syftet med denna avhandling är både att undersökaaktuell föroreningsstatus av As i akvifärer i det Bengaliska Deltat (BDP), Nadia distriktet, Västbengalen (Indien) och att undersöka As biogeokemiskaomsättningsamt roll i olika inhemska bakteriella samhällen. Resultaten visar att As (III) oxiderande bakteriesamhällen var dominerande i grå akvifärsand (GSA), men hittades intei brun akvifärsand (BSA). Det visar sig också att tillförsel av regnvatten med oorganiska och organiska lösta föreningar spelar en viktig roll för att skapaolika grupper av bakteriella fenotyperdärarsenitoxiderande bakterier ingick vilket framkommedaioA och 16S rRNA fylogeni. Dessa bakteriesamhällen i BDPs grundvatten utnyttjar troligtvis det upplösta och sedimentära organiska kolet (DOC och SOC) som primär kolkälla för andning, och hjälper till att lösa upp järnhydroxidervid mobilisering av As. Därför kan sediment och grundvatten i dessa grundvattenakvifärer karaktäriseras genomderas olika oorganiska beståndsdelar (metaller) och organiska föreningar. Det fanns ocksåtydliga skillnader mellan DOC och SOC pooler i grundvatten och akvifärmaterial. Den enda likheten mellan dessa kolpooler är förekomst av petroleumbaserade kolväten. SOC i BSA korrelerar med ler- och siltfraktioner. Vidare såbildades As komplex med järn, men inte med mangan. Karakterisering med hjälp av biomarkörer i sediment visade närvaro av terrestra samt och petroleumbaserade kolväten. Dessa kolväten hittades inte i sediment från BSA, och inte heller arsenitoxiderande bakteriesamhällen. Även om DOC i grundvatten spelar en viktig roll förmikroorganismerna, så påverkar olika SOC i BSA och GSA de  mikrobiella samhällsstrukturerna och den biogeokemiska omsättningen av As. Detta påverkarsärskilt den naturligt "säkra" dricksvattenkapaciteten. Sammantaget ger studien en ny riktning för långsiktig forskning om As biogeokemiska cykel i förorenade BDP akvifärer.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2016. 80 p.
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 670
Arsenic, aquifer, arsenite oxidation, aioA gene, Bengal delta plains, biogeochemical cycling biomarkers, DOC, SOC, Arsenik, akvifärer, arsenitoxiderande, aioA gene, Bengal delta plains, biogeokemiska omsättning, biomarkörer, DOC, SOC
National Category
Geochemistry Water Treatment Microbiology Geosciences, Multidisciplinary Water Engineering Environmental Sciences
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-126598 (URN)978-91-7685-830-1 (Print) (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-03-22, TEMCAS, T- House, Campus Valla, Linköping, 13:00 (English)
Available from: 2016-03-31 Created: 2016-03-31 Last updated: 2016-06-14Bibliographically approved

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Tema Environmental ChangeFaculty of Arts and SciencesDepartment of Water and Environmental Studies
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