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Iron-dependent mutualism between Chlorella sorokiniana and Ralstonia pickettii forms the basis for a sustainable bioremediation system

Rawat, Deepak; Sharma, Udita; Poria, Pankaj; Finlan, Arran; Parker, Brenda; Sharma, Radhey Shyam; Mishra, Vandana; (2022) Iron-dependent mutualism between Chlorella sorokiniana and Ralstonia pickettii forms the basis for a sustainable bioremediation system. ISME Communications , 2 (1) , Article 83. 10.1038/s43705-022-00161-0. Green open access

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Abstract

Phototrophic communities of autotrophic microalgae and heterotrophic bacteria perform complex tasks of nutrient acquisition and tackling environmental stress but remain underexplored as a basis for the bioremediation of emerging pollutants. In industrial monoculture designs, poor iron uptake by microalgae limits their productivity and biotechnological efficacy. Iron supplementation is expensive and ineffective because iron remains insoluble in an aqueous medium and is biologically unavailable. However, microalgae develop complex interkingdom associations with siderophore-producing bacteria that help solubilize iron and increase its bioavailability. Using dye degradation as a model, we combined environmental isolations and synthetic ecology as a workflow to design a simplified microbial community based on iron and carbon exchange. We established a mutualism between the previously non-associated alga Chlorella sorokiniana and siderophore-producing bacterium Ralstonia pickettii. Siderophore-mediated increase in iron bioavailability alleviated Fe stress for algae and increased the reductive iron uptake mechanism and bioremediation potential. In exchange, C. sorokiniana produced galactose, glucose, and mannose as major extracellular monosaccharides, supporting bacterial growth. We propose that extracellular iron reduction by ferrireductase is crucial for azoreductase-mediated dye degradation in microalgae. These results demonstrate that iron bioavailability, often overlooked in cultivation, governs microalgal growth, enzymatic processes, and bioremediation potential. Our results suggest that phototrophic communities with an active association for iron and carbon exchange have the potential to overcome challenges associated with micronutrient availability, while scaling up bioremediation designs.

Type: Article
Title: Iron-dependent mutualism between Chlorella sorokiniana and Ralstonia pickettii forms the basis for a sustainable bioremediation system
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s43705-022-00161-0
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1038/s43705-022-00161-0
Language: English
Additional information: © 2022 Springer Nature Limited. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Environmental sciences, Microbial ecology
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Biochemical Engineering
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10157115
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