Genomic resolution of bacterial populations in saccharin and cyclamate degradation

Sci Total Environ. 2019 Mar 25;658:357-366. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.12.162. Epub 2018 Dec 13.


The benefits of extensive artificial sweeteners use come at a cost of their ubiquitous occurrence in the aquatic environment. Biodegradation is crucial for the removal of artificial sweeteners in the environment, yet comprehensive characterizations of the degradation consortia that degrade these compounds have not been initiated. Here, we performed metagenomic analysis of microbial communities fulfilling complete mineralization of two typical artificial sweeteners, i.e. saccharin and cyclamate. Genome-resolved metagenomics enabled the recovery and metabolic characterization of total 23 population genomes from 8 phyla in the two consortia, most of which represented novel species. The saccharin-degrading consortia was notably dominated by a betaproteobacterial genome from the family Rhodocyclaceae, accounting for 15.5% of total sequences. For the cyclamate enrichment, 28.1% of the total sequences were assigned to three similarly abundant Alphaproteobacteria population genomes belonging to the family Sphingomonadaceae and Methylobacteriaceae. The metabolic potential of these population genomes were examined to potentially identify the roles of these populations in biodegradation of artificial sweeteners, and focusing on the energy and nutrient metabolisms.

Keywords: Artificial sweetener; Biodegradation; Enrichment; Genome; Metagenomics; UPLC-MS/MS.

MeSH terms

  • Alphaproteobacteria / genetics
  • Alphaproteobacteria / isolation & purification
  • Alphaproteobacteria / metabolism
  • Biodegradation, Environmental*
  • Biodiversity
  • Cyclamates / metabolism*
  • Genome, Bacterial*
  • Metagenomics / methods
  • Methylobacteriaceae / genetics
  • Methylobacteriaceae / isolation & purification
  • Methylobacteriaceae / metabolism
  • Rhodocyclaceae / genetics
  • Rhodocyclaceae / isolation & purification
  • Rhodocyclaceae / metabolism
  • Saccharin / metabolism*
  • Sphingomonadaceae / genetics
  • Sphingomonadaceae / isolation & purification
  • Sphingomonadaceae / metabolism
  • Water Microbiology
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / metabolism*


  • Cyclamates
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • Saccharin