Pedosphere 27(3): 630--637, 2017
ISSN 1002-0160/CN 32-1315/P
©2017 Soil Science Society of China
Published by Elsevier B.V. and Science Press
Diversity of As metabolism functional genes in Pb-Zn mine tailings
LI Xiaofang1,2, Philip L. BOND3,Longbin HUANG2
1Centre for Agricultural Resources Research, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shijia- zhuang 050021 (China)
2 Centre for Mined Land Rehabilitation, Sustainable Minerals Institute, The University of Queensland, Queensland 4072 (Australia)
3 Advanced Water Management Centre, The University of Queensland, Queensland 4072 (Australia)
ABSTRACT
      Microbial activities impact arsenic (As) transformation in mine tailings substantially, yet little is understood on the functional diversity of As metabolism genes.This study explored this issue using a metagenomic approach coupled by a local BLASTN procedure established in our recent studies.An assembled metagenome, recovered from hypersaline and sulfidic mine tailings, was screened for As metabolism genes aioA, arrA, arsC and arsM. This was done using a local BLASTN procedure against databases of the As metabolism genes built in this study. Putative As metabolism genes detected in the assembled metagenome included 11 arsM, 20 arsC and 1 arrA full-length sequences.Together with the rRNA-based phylogenetic profiling results, a picture depicting microbial As cycling in the tailings to the genus level was obtained. It was found that most of the dominant genera in the tailings potentially harboured the genes for As reduction and/or methylation.In particular, a typical pyrite-eater present in the tailings, Thioalkalivibrio sp., was found to harbour not only arsC and arsM, but also arrA. These results highlight the unexpected diversity of As metabolism genes in the tailings, especially considering the extremely low species diversity therein. The microbial As cycling picture established here has potential use for guiding the purposeful manipulation of As biogeochemistry in the tailings.
Key Words:  arsenic cycling, arsM, local BLASTN procedure, metagenomics, revegetation, Thioalkalivibrio sp.
Citation: Li, X., Bond, L. and Longbin, H. 2017. Diversity of As metabolism functional genes in Pb-Zn mine tailings. Pedosphere. 27(3): 630-637.
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