Enrichment of High-Affinity CO Oxidizers in Maine Forest Soil

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Carboxydotrophic activity in forest soils was enriched by incubation in a flowthrough system with elevated concentrations of headspace CO (40 to 400 ppm). CO uptake increased substantially over time, while the apparent Km (appKm) for uptake remained similar to that of unenriched soils (< 10 to 20 ppm). Carboxydotrophic activity was transferred to and further enriched in sterile sand and forest soil. The appAms for secondary and tertiary enrichments remained similar to values for unenriched soils. CO uptake by enriched soil and freshly collected forest soil was inhibited at headspace CO concentrations greater than about 1%. A novel isolate, COX1, obtained from the enrichments was inhibited similarly. However, in contrast to extant carboxydotrophs, COX1 consumed CO with an appKm of about 15 ppm, a value comparable to that of fresh soils. Phylogenetic analysis based on approximately 1,200 bp of its 16S rRNA gene sequence suggested that the isolate is an α-proteobacterium most closely related to the genera Pseudaminobacter, Aminobacter, and Chelatobacter (98.1 to 98.3% sequence identity).

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Applied and Environmental Microbiology

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