Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1111/jam.15443
Licence creative commons licence
Title (Primary) Structure and functional capacity of a benzene‐mineralizing, nitrate‐reducing microbial community
Author Eziuzor, S.C.; Borim Corrêa, F.; Peng, S.; Schultz, J.; Kleinsteuber, S. ORCID logo ; Nunes da Rocha, U.; Adrian, L.; Vogt, C.
Source Titel Journal of Applied Microbiology
Year 2022
Department ISOBIO; UMB; UBT
Volume 132
Issue 4
Page From 2795
Page To 2811
Language englisch
Topic T7 Bioeconomy
Keywords anaerobic benzene degradation; dissimilatory nitrate reduction; Peptococcaceae; putative anaerobic benzene carboxylase; anammox bacteria


How benzene is metabolized by microbes under anoxic conditions is not fully understood. Here, we studied the degradation pathways in a benzene-mineralizing, nitrate-reducing enrichment culture.

Methods and Results

Benzene mineralization was dependent on the presence of nitrate and correlated to enrichment of a Peptococcaceae phylotype only distantly related to known anaerobic benzene degraders of this family. Its relative abundance decreased after benzene mineralization had terminated, while other abundant taxa - Ignavibacteriaceae, Rhodanobacteraceae and Brocadiaceae - slightly increased. Generally, the microbial community remained diverse despite amendment of benzene as single organic carbon source, suggesting complex trophic interactions between different functional groups. A subunit of the putative anaerobic benzene carboxylase (AbcA) previously detected in Peptococcaceae was identified by metaproteomic analysis suggesting that benzene was activated by carboxylation. Detection of proteins involved in anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) indicates that benzene mineralization was accompanied by anammox, facilitated by nitrite accumulation and the presence of ammonium in the growth medium.


The results suggest that benzene was activated by carboxylation and further assimilated by a novel Peptococcaceae phylotype.

Significance and impact of the study

The results confirm the hypothesis that Peptococcaceae are important anaerobic benzene degraders.

Persistent UFZ Identifier
Eziuzor, S.C., Borim Corrêa, F., Peng, S., Schultz, J., Kleinsteuber, S., Nunes da Rocha, U., Adrian, L., Vogt, C. (2022):
Structure and functional capacity of a benzene‐mineralizing, nitrate‐reducing microbial community
J. Appl. Microbiol. 132 (4), 2795 - 2811 10.1111/jam.15443