Analysis of predation-driven inoculum loss and carbon flow in bioaugmented soils through DNA-SIP

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Analysis of predation-driven inoculum loss and carbon flow in bioaugmented soils through DNA-SIP


Nieto, E. E.; Jurburg, S. D.; Steinbach, N.; Festa, S.; Morelli, I. S.; Coppotelli, B.; Chatzinotas, A.


Bioaugmentation is considered as a sustainable and cost-effective methodology to recover contaminated environments, but its outcome is highly variable. Predation is a key top-down control mechanism affecting inoculum establishment, however its effects on this process have received little attention. This study focused on the impact of trophic interactions on bioaugmentation success in two soils with different pollution exposure histories We inoculated a 13C-labelled pollutant-degrading consortium in these soils and tracked the fate of the labelled biomass through stable isotope probing (SIP) of DNA. We identified active bacterial and eukaryotic inoculum-biomass consumers through amplicon sequencing of 16S rRNA and 18S rRNA genes coupled to modified enrichment factor calculation. Inoculation effectively increased PAH removal in short-term polluted soils but not in long-term polluted soils. A decrease in the relative abundance of the inoculated genera was observed already on day 15 in the long-term polluted soil, while growth of these genera was observed in the short-term polluted soil, indicating establishment of the inoculum. In both soils, eukaryotic genera dominated as early incorporators of 13C-labelled biomass, while bacteria incorporated the labelled biomass at the end of the incubation period, probably through cross-feeding. We also found different successional patterns between the two soils. In the short-term polluted soil, Cercozoa and Fungi genera predominated as early incorporators, whereas Ciliophora, Ochrophyta and Amoebozoa were the predominant genera in the long-term polluted soil. Our results showed differences in the inoculum establishment and predator community behaviours, affecting bioaugmentation efficiency. This highlights the need to further study predation effects on inoculum survival to increase the applicability of inoculation-based technologies.

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