Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) can be reductively degraded by microorganisms under anaerobic conditions. However, little is known about the effect of electron donors on microbial communities involved in PBDEs degradation. Here we employed 454 Titanium pyrosequencing to examine the phylogenetic diversity, composition, structure and dynamics of microbial communities from microcosms under the conditions of different electron donor amendments. The community structures in each of the five alternate electron donor enrichments were significantly shifted in comparison with those of the control microcosm. Commonly existing OTUs between the treatment and control consortia increased from 5 to 17 and more than 50% of OTUs increased around 13.7 to 186 times at least in one of the microcosms after 90-days enrichment. Although the microbial communities at different taxonomic levels were significantly changed by different environmental variable groups in redundancy analysis, significant correlations were observed between the microbial communities and PBDE congener profiles. The lesser-brominated PBDE congeners, tri-BDE congener (BDE-32) and hexa-BDE, were identified as the key factors shaping the microbial community structures at OTU level. Some rare populations, including the known dechlorinating bacterium, Dehalobacter, showed significant positive-correlation with the amounts of PBDE congeners in the consortia. The same results were also observed on some unclassified bacteria. These results suggest that PBDEs-degrading microbial communities can be successfully enriched, and their structures and compositions can be manipulated through adjusting the environmental parameters.
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