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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2003 Mar;69(3):1710-20.

Role of Rhodobacter sp. strain PS9, a purple non-sulfur photosynthetic bacterium isolated from an anaerobic swine waste lagoon, in odor remediation.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, Iowa State University, 205 Science Building, Ames, IA 50011, USA.


Temporal pigmentation changes resulting from the development of a purple color in anaerobic swine waste lagoons were investigated during a 4-year period. The major purple photosynthetic bacterium responsible for these color changes and the corresponding reductions in odor was isolated from nine photosynthetic lagoons. By using morphological, physiological, and phylogenetic characterization methods we identified the predominant photosynthetic bacterium as a new strain of Rhodobacter, designated Rhodobacter sp. strain PS9. Rhodobacter sp. strain PS9 is capable of photoorganotrophic growth on a variety of organic compounds, including all of the characteristic volatile organic compounds (VOC) responsible for the odor associated with swine production facilities (J. A. Zahn, A. A. DiSpirito, Y. S. Do, B. E. Brooks, E. E. Copper, and J. L. Hatfield, J. Environ. Qual. 30:624-634, 2001). The seasonal variations in airborne VOC emitted from waste lagoons showed that there was a 80 to 93% decrease in the concentration of VOC during a photosynthetic bloom. During the height of a bloom, the Rhodobacter sp. strain PS9 population accounted for 10% of the total community and up to 27% of the eubacterial community based on 16S ribosomal DNA signals. Additional observations based on seasonal variations in meteorological, biological, and chemical parameters suggested that the photosynthetic blooms of Rhodobacter sp. strain PS9 were correlated with lagoon water temperature and with the concentrations of sulfate and phosphate. In addition, the photosynthetic blooms of Rhodobacter sp. strain PS9 were inversely correlated with the concentrations of protein and fluoride.

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