Ethers such as 1,4-dioxane, tetrahydrofuran, and methyl tert-butyl ether are widespread contaminants of groundwater resources. 1,4-Dioxane is widely used as a stabilizer for chlorinated solvents such as 1,1,1-trichloroethane (TCA). 1,4-Dioxane is a carcinogen, and causes acute toxic effects on the nervous system, liver, and kidneys. One promising approach for remediating 1,4-dioxane-impacted water supplies is in-situ bioremediation using aerobic bacteria.
Pseudonocardia dioxanivorans CB1190 is a unique bacterial strain that can grow using 1,4-dioxane as a sole source of carbon and energy. It can degrade several other water contaminants and also fix dinitrogen, making it an attractive bioaugmentation culture even for nitrogen-limited environments. To date, the complete genome has not been sequenced for any Pseudonocardia species. Pseudonocardia members are abundant in diverse environments, and are known to degrade a variety of pollutants. These bacteria are also important in biocatalysis applications and in the production of antibiotics. Consequently, sequencing an interesting Pseudonocardia strain will be useful in understanding their cellular make-up and will provide tools for advanced study and utilization of their vast metabolic potential. Using genomic data to gain insights into factors regulating the growth and metabolism of CB1190 will aid in designing systems for effectively bioremediating water contaminated with 1,4-dioxane. In addition, the sequence will shed light on the unique enzymatic system that confers the ability to biodegrade and gain metabolic energy and carbon from 1,4-dioxane.
Principal Investigators: Shaily Mahendra and Lisa Alvarez-Cohen (Univ. of California, Berkeley) and Rebecca E Parales (Univ. of California, Davis)