Molecular analysis of the biomass of a fluidized bed reactor treating synthetic vinasse at anaerobic and micro-aerobic conditions

E. Rodriguez, A. Lopes, M. Fdz-Polanco, A.J.M. Stams, P.A. Garcia Encina

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28 Citations (Scopus)


The microbial communities (Bacteria and Archaea) established in an anaerobic fluidized bed reactor used to treat synthetic vinasse (betaine, glucose, acetate, propionate, and butyrate) were characterized by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and phylogenetic analysis. This study was focused on the competitive and syntrophic interactions between the different microbial groups at varying influent substrate to sulfate ratios of 8, 4, and 2 and anaerobic or micro-aerobic conditions. Acetogens detected along the anaerobic phases at substrate to sulfate ratios of 8 and 4 seemed to be mainly involved in the fermentation of glucose and betaine, but they were substituted by other sugar or betaine degraders after oxygen application. Typical fatty acid degraders that grow in syntrophy with methanogens were not detected during the entire reactor run. Likely, sugar and betaine degraders outnumbered them in the DGGE analysis. The detected sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) belonged to the hydrogen-utilizing Desulfovibrio. The introduction of oxygen led to the formation of elemental sulfur (S(0)) and probably other sulfur compounds by sulfide-oxidizing bacteria (¿-Proteobacteria). It is likely that the sulfur intermediates produced from sulfide oxidation were used by SRB and other microorganisms as electron acceptors, as was supported by the detection of the sulfur respiring Wolinella succinogenes. Within the Archaea population, members of Methanomethylovorans and Methanosaeta were detected throughout the entire reactor operation. Hydrogenotrophic methanogens mainly belonging to the genus Methanobacterium were detected at the highest substrate to sulfate ratio but rapidly disappeared by increasing the sulfate concentration
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2181-2191
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • sulfate-reducing bacteria
  • 16s ribosomal-rna
  • gradient gel-electrophoresis
  • waste-water
  • oxygen limitation
  • granular sludge
  • sp-nov.
  • sulfide
  • desulfovibrio
  • competition

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