Metabolic potentials of members of the class Acidobacteriia in metal-contaminated soils revealed by metagenomic analysis

Rui Xu, Xiaoxu Sun, Max M. Häggblom, Yiran Dong, Miaomiao Zhang, Zhaohui Yang, Enzong Xiao, Tangfu Xiao, Pin Gao, Baoqin Li, Weimin Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The relative abundance of Acidobacteriia correlated positively with the concentrations of arsenic (As), mercury (Hg), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu) and other metals, suggesting their adaptation of the metal-rich environments. Metagenomic binning reconstructed 29 high-quality metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) associated with Acidobacteriia, providing an opportunity to study their metabolic potentials. These MAGs contained genes to transform As, Hg and Cr through oxidation, reduction, efflux and demethylation, suggesting the potential of Acidobacteriia to transform such metal(loid)s. Additionally, genes associated with alleviation of acidic and metal stress were also detected in these MAGs. Acidobacteriia may have the capabilities to resist or transform metal(loid)s in acidic metal-contaminated sites. Moreover, these genes encoding metal transformation could be also identified in the Acidobacteriia-associated MAGs from five additional metal-contaminated sites across Southwest China, as well as Acidobacteriia-associated reference genomes from the NCBI database, suggesting that the capability of metal transformation may be widespread among Acidobacteriia members. This discovery provides an understanding of metabolic potentials of the Acidobacteriia in acidic metal-rich sites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)803-818
Number of pages16
JournalEnvironmental microbiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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