Effects of elevated temperature on bacterial community structure and function in bioreactors treating a synthetic wastewater

T. M. LaPara, A. Konopka, C. H. Nakatsu, J. E. Alleman

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44 Scopus citations

Abstract

The impact of elevated temperature on bacterial community structure and function during aerobic biological waste-water treatment was investigated. Continuous cultures, fed a complex growth medium containing gelatin and α- lactose as the principal carbon and energy sources, supported mixed bacterial consortia at temperatures ranging from 25-65 °C. These temperature- and substrate-acclimated organisms were then used as inocula for batch growth experiments in which the kinetics of microbial growth and substrate utilization, efficiency of substrate removal, and mechanism of substrate removal were compared as functions of temperature. Bacterial community analysis by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) revealed that distinct bacterial consortia were supported at each temperature. The efficiency of substrate removal declined at elevated temperatures. Maximum specific growth rates and the growth yield increased with temperature from 25-45 °C, but then decreased with further elevations in temperature. Thus, maximum specific substrate utilization rates did not vary significantly over the 40 °C temperature range (0.64 ± 0.04 mg COD mg-1 dry cell mass h- 1). A comparison of the degradation of the protein and carbohydrate portions of the feed medium revealed a lag in α-lactose uptake at 55 °C, whereas both components were utilized simultaneously at 25 °C.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)140-145
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology
Volume24
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000

Keywords

  • Biodegradation
  • DGGE
  • Growth kinetics
  • Temperature
  • Thermophilic

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