Taxonomical composition and functional analysis of biofilms sampled from a nuclear storage pool

Front Microbiol. 2023 Apr 13;14:1148976. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2023.1148976. eCollection 2023.


Sampling small amounts of biofilm from harsh environments such as the biofilm present on the walls of a radioactive material storage pool offers few analytical options if taxonomic characterization and estimation of the different biomass contributions are the objectives. Although 16S/18S rRNA amplification on extracted DNA and sequencing is the most widely applied method, its reliability in terms of quantitation has been questioned as yields can be species-dependent. Here, we propose a tandem-mass spectrometry proteotyping approach consisting of acquiring peptide data and interpreting then against a generalist database without any a priori. The peptide sequence information is transformed into useful taxonomical information that allows to obtain the different biomass contributions at different taxonomical ranks. This new methodology is applied for the first time to analyze the composition of biofilms from minute quantities of material collected from a pool used to store radioactive sources in a nuclear facility. For these biofilms, we report the identification of three genera, namely Sphingomonas, Caulobacter, and Acidovorax, and their functional characterization by metaproteomics which shows that these organisms are metabolic active. Differential expression of Gene Ontology GOslim terms between the two main microorganisms highlights their metabolic specialization.

PMID:37125163 | PMC:PMC10133526 | DOI:10.3389/fmicb.2023.1148976


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