Hexabromocyclododecanes (HBCDs) are globally prevalent and persistent organic pollutants (POPs) listed by the Stockholm Convention in 2013. They have been detected in many environmental media from waterbodies to Plantae and even in the human body. Due to their highly bioaccumulative characterization, they pose an urgent public health issue. Here, we demonstrate that the indigenous microbial community in the agricultural soil in Taiwan could decompose HBCDs with no additional carbon source incentive. The degradation kinetics reached 0.173 day-1 after the first treatment and 0.104 day-1 after second exposure. With additional C-sources, the rate constants decreased to 0.054–0.097 day-1. The hydroxylic debromination metabolites and ring cleavage long-chain alkane metabolites were identified to support the potential metabolic pathways utilized by the soil microbial communities. The metagenome established by Nanopore sequencing showed significant compositional alteration in the soil microbial community after the HBCD treatment. After ranking, comparing relative abundances, and performing network analyses, several novel bacterial taxa were identified to contribute to HBCD biotransformation, including Herbaspirillum, Sphingomonas, Brevundimonas, Azospirillum, Caulobacter, and Microvirga, through halogenated / aromatic compound degradation, glutathione-S-transferase, and hydrolase activity. We present a compelling and applicable approach combining metagenomics research, degradation kinetics, and metabolomics strategies, which allowed us to decipher the natural attenuation and remediation mechanisms of HBCDs.
- Microbial network analysis
- Nanopore sequencing
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Engineering
- Environmental Chemistry
- Waste Management and Disposal
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis