Environmental bacteria contain a wealth of untapped potential in the form of biodegradative genes. Leveraging this potential can often be confounded by a lack of understanding of fundamental survival strategies, like dormancy, for environmental stress. Investigating bacterial dormancy-to-degradation relationships enables improvement of bioremediation. Here, we couple genomic and functional assessment to provide context for key attributes of the organic pollutant-degrading strain Rhodococcus biphenylivorans TG9. Whole genome sequencing, pangenome analysis and functional characterization were performed to elucidate important genes and gene products, including antimicrobial resistance, dormancy, and degradation. Rhodococcus as a genus has strong potential for degradation and dormancy, which we demonstrate using R. biphenylivorans TG9 as a model. We identified four Resuscitation-promoting factor (Rpf) encoding genes in TG9 involved in dormancy and resuscitation. We demonstrate that R. biphenylivorans TG9 grows on fourteen typical organic pollutants, and exhibits a robust ability to degrade biphenyl and several congeners of polychlorinated biphenyls. We further induced TG9 into a dormant state and demonstrated pronounced differences in morphology and activity. Together, these results expand our understanding of the genus Rhodococcus and the relationship between dormancy and biodegradation in the presence of environmental stressors.
- Antimicrobial resistance
- Organic pollutant degradation
- Whole-genome sequencing
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Engineering
- Environmental Chemistry
- Waste Management and Disposal