Detection and localization of syntrophic propionate oxidizing bacteria in granular sludge by in situ hybridization using 16S rRNA based oligonucleotide probes.

H.J.M. Harmsen, H.P.M. Kengen, A.D.L. Akkermans, A.J.M. Stams, W.M. de Vos

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141 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In situ hybridization with fluorescent oligonucleotides was used to detect and localize microorganisms in the granules of two lab-scale upflow anaerobic sludge blanket reactors that had been fed for several months with either sucrose or a mixture of volatile fatty acids. Sections of the granules were hybridized with 16S rRNA-targeted oligonucleotide probes for Bacteria, Archaea, specific phylogenetic groups of methanogens, and two syntrophic propionate-oxidizing strains, MPOB and KOPROP1. Cells of the syntrophic strain KOPROP1 were not detected in either type of sludge granules. Hybridizations of the sucrose-fed granules showed an outer layer of mainly bacterial microcolonies with different morphologies. More inwards of these granules, a layer of different methanogenic microcolonies mixed with large colonies of the syntrophic strain MPOB could be detected. The MPOB colonies were intertwined with hydrogen- or formate-consuming methanogens, indicating their syntrophic growth. The granules fed with volatile fatty acids showed an outer layer of mainly bacteria and then a thick layer of Methanosaeta-like methanogens mixed with a few bacteria and a layer of methanogens mixed with syntrophic MPOB microcolonies. The centers of both sludge types consisted of large cavities and methanogenic microcolonies. These results indicate a juxtapositioning of syntrophic bacteria and methanogens and provide additional evidence for a layered microbial architecture of anaerobic granular sludge.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1656-1663
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Volume62
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1996

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