Prokaryotic diversity was investigated near the inlet and outlet of a plug-flow reactor. After analyzing 800 clones, 50 bacterial and 3 archaeal phylogenetic groups were defined. Clostridia (>92%) dominated among bacteria and Methanoculleus (>90%) among archaea. Significant changes in pH and volatile fatty acids did not invoke a major shift in the phylogenetic groups. We suggest that the environmental filter imposed by the saline conditions (20 g liter−1) selected a stable community of halotolerant and halophilic prokaryotes
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