Understanding the Role of Methanotrophs on Pharmaceutical Transformations

Research Questions

  • Do aerobic methane oxidizing bacteria biotransform pharmaceuticals?
  • If so, to what extent do the particulate and soluble methane monooxygenase associate with pharamceutical biotransformation?

Research Approach

I conducted batch experiments using Methylosinus trichosporium Ob3b. The use of copper to change the expression of methane monooxygenase (soluble MMO at low copper concentrations and particulate MMO at high copper concentrations) has been well studied in this organism.  I conducted two batch experiments with media containing a suite of pharmaceuticals and either high copper content or low copper content. I tested the degree of transformation under both conditions.  I found that the pharmaceutical transformation was significantly greater in the sMMO enriched culture than the pMMO enriched culture for a variety of compounds. 

 Pharmaceutical loss in the pMMO and sMMO enriched cultures. Percent change isrelative to abiotic controls (control with copper for pMMO culture and control without copper for sMMO culture) and normalized to biomass concentration (VSS) change over the week long experiment. Error bars represent standard error of the mean.   

Pharmaceutical loss in the pMMO and sMMO enriched cultures. Percent change isrelative to abiotic controls (control with copper for pMMO culture and control without copper for sMMO culture) and normalized to biomass concentration (VSS) change over the week long experiment. Error bars represent standard error of the mean.

 

Presentations

Delgado Vela, J.*, Stadler, L., Love, N.G., Elucidating Biotransformation of Pharmaceuticals by the Methanotroph Methylosinus Trichosporium Ob3b. Gordon Research Conference Environmental Sciences: Water, Plymouth, NH, June 22-27,2014 (poster)

See a similar publication here (published while work was ongoing).