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Effect of temperature and cycle length on microbial competition in PHB-producing sequencing batch reactor

By Yang Jiang, Leonie Marang, Robbert Kleerebezem, Gerard Muyzer and Mark C M van Loosdrecht


The impact of temperature and cycle length on microbial competition between polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB)-producing populations enriched in feast-famine sequencing batch reactors (SBRs) was investigated at temperatures of 20 °C and 30 °C, and in a cycle length range of 1–18 h. In this study, the microbial community structure of the PHB-producing enrichments was found to be strongly dependent on temperature, but not on cycle length. Zoogloea and Plasticicumulans acidivorans dominated the SBRs operated at 20 °C and 30 °C, respectively. Both enrichments accumulated PHB more than 75% of cell dry weight. Short-term temperature change experiments revealed that P. acidivorans was more temperature sensitive as compared with Zoogloea. This is particularly true for the PHB degradation, resulting in incomplete PHB degradation in P. acidivorans at 20 °C. Incomplete PHB degradation limited biomass growth and allowed Zoogloea to outcompete P. acidivorans. The PHB content at the end of the feast phase correlated well with the cycle length at a constant solid retention time (SRT). These results suggest that to establish enrichment with the capacity to store a high fraction of PHB, the number of cycles per SRT should be minimized independent of the temperature

Topics: Original Article
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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