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Microbial communities associated with the co-metabolism of free cyanide and thiocyanate under alkaline conditions
- Mekuto, Lukhanyo, Ntwampe, SetenoKarabo Obed, Mudumbi, JohnBaptist N.
- 3 Biotech 2018 v.8 no.2 pp. 93
- Bacillus (bacteria), Klebsiella oxytoca, Myroides, Proteus, Providencia, Pseudomonas, biodegradation, cyanides, enzymes, microbial communities, ribosomal RNA, thiocyanates
- This study focused on the identification of free cyanide (CDO) and thiocyanate (TDO) degrading microbial communities using a culture-dependent and independent approach. Culturable microbial species were isolated from the CDOs (n = 13) and TDOs (n = 18). The CDOs were largely dominated by Bacillus sp. while the TDOs were dominated by Bacillus sp., Klebsiella oxytoca, Providencia sp. and Pseudomonas sp. However, 16S rRNA amplicon gene-sequencing revealed the complexity and diversity of the microbial communities in contrast to the organisms that were detected using culture-dependent technique. Overall, the organisms were mainly dominated by Myroides odoratimimus and Proteus sp. at 37.82 and 30.5% for CDOs, and 35.26 and 17.58% for TDOs, respectively. The co-culturing of the CDOs and TDOs resulted in biochemical changes of key metabolic enzymes, and this resulted in the complete degradation of CN⁻ and SCN⁻ simultaneously; a phenomenon which has not been witnessed, especially under alkaline conditions. Current ongoing studies are focused on the application of these organisms for the biodegradation of CN⁻ and SCN⁻ in a continuous system, under changing operational parameters, to assess their effectiveness in the biodegradation of CN⁻ and SCN⁻.