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Etude de la diversité bactérienne et génétique dans des cultures dégradant l'ETBE ou le MTBE

Abstract : ETBE and MTBE are fuel oxygenates added to unleaded gasoline to improve combustion. Due to their extensive use, numerous aquifers have been contaminated, particularly by MTBE. The use of ETBE and MTBE is considered to represent an environmental risk. Recent research has uncovered a range of microorganisms capable of degrading these compounds, even though their environmental half-lives are long. Improved understanding of the ecology and regulation of this degradative ability could improve the management of the ETBE and MTBE contaminated site remediation. The aim of this work, taking place in the framework of the ANR project MiOxyFun was to investigate the ecology of ETBE- and MTBE-degrading microbial communities and their relationship to the regulation and kinetics of ETBE- and MTBE-degradation by specific members of these communities. Several ETBE- and MTBE-degrading microbial communities were enriched in the laboratory from environmental samples from contaminated sites throughout the world. These enrichments were examined for their degradation kinetics, microbial community structure, and used to isolate specific community members actively degrading ETBE and/or MTBE. The ETBE or MTBE biodegradation kinetics of the five ETBE- and six MTBE- degrading enrichments demonstrated a diversity of biodegradation rates. Overall, biodegradation was generally slow and associated to a low biomass yield. Tert-butanol (TBA) was transiently produced in several cases. Biodegradation of other gasoline compounds (BTEXs and n-alkanes) was tested and varied among the enrichments studied. Benzene, however, was degraded in 10 out of the 11 enrichments. DNA fingerprinting techniques (RISA, DGGE) showed that the microflora present in the five ETBE enrichments were different from those of the MTBE enrichments. The ETBE enrichments were studied further by sequencing the 16S rRNA genes extracted, amplified and cloned from these enrichments. Proteobacteria dominated three of the ETBE enrichments, Acidobacteria in another one, and a more heterogeneous composition was found in the fifth ETBE enrichment. Actinobacteria were detected in all five enrichments. Several strains with ETBE or MTBE degradation capacities were isolated: Rhodococcus sp. IFP 2040, IFP 2041, IFP 2042, IFP 2043 (degrading ETBE to TBA),a Betaproteobacteria IFP 2047 (degrading ETBE), Bradyrhizobium sp. IFP 2047 (degrading TBA), Pseudonocardia sp. IFP 2050 (degrading ETBE and MTBE), Pseudoxanthomonas sp. IFP 2051 and a Proteobacteria IFP 2052 (degrading MTBE). Quantification of the 16S rRNA gene confirmed the relatively high number of these isolates in some of the ETBE enrichments. Several genes involved in ETBE and/or MTBE biodegradation were detected in some of the enrichments and in some of the isolated strains.
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Yoann Le Digabel. Etude de la diversité bactérienne et génétique dans des cultures dégradant l'ETBE ou le MTBE. Autre. Ecole Centrale de Lyon, 2013. Français. ⟨NNT : 2013ECDL0026⟩. ⟨tel-00966858⟩

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