Bacterial composition and structure of granular sludge adapted to different substrates.

J.T.C. Grotenhuis, M. Smit, C.M. Plugge, Xu Yuanshen, A.A.M. van Lammeren, A.J.M. Stams, A.J.B. Zehnder

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147 Citations (Scopus)


The bacteriological composition and ultrastructure of mesophilic granular methanogenic sludge from a large-scale Upflow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket reactor treating wastewater from a sugar plant and of sludge granules adapted to ethanol and propionate were studied by counting different bacterial groups and by immunocytochemical methods. Propionate-grown granular sludge consisted of two types of clusters, those of a rod-shaped bacterium immunologically related to Methanothrix soehngenii and those consisting of two different types of bacteria with a specific spatial orientation. One of these bacteria reacted with antiserum against Methanobrevibacter arboriphilus AZ, whereas the other is most likely a propionate-oxidizing bacterium immunologically unrelated to Syntrophobacter wolinii. Sludge granules obtained from the large-scale Upflow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket reactor and granules cultivated on ethanol did not show the typical spatial orientation of bacteria. Examination of the bacterial composition of the three types of granules by light and electron microscopy, the most-probable-number method, and by isolations showed that M. arboriphilus and M. soehngenii were the most abundant hydrogenotrophic and acetoclastic methanogens in propionate-grown sludge. Methanospirillum hungatei and Methanosarcina barkeri predominated in ethanol-grown granules, whereas many morphotypes of methanogens were abundant in granules from the full-scale reactor.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1942-1949
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1991

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