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Lipids. 2003 Oct;38(10):1093-105.

Fatty acids of lipid fractions in extracellular polymeric substances of activated sludge flocs.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Chimie Physique et Microbiologie pour l'Environnement (LCPME), UMR 7564 CNRS--Université Henri Poincaré, Faculté de Pharmacie, Pôle de l'Eau, 54500 Vandoeuvre-lès-Nancy, France.


Phospholipid (PL), glycolipid (GL), and neutral lipid (NL) FA, and the lipopolysaccharide 2- and 3-hydroxy (LPS 2-OH and 3-OH) FA of activated sludges and extracted extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) were determined on samples collected from two wastewater treatment plants. EPS extracted from sludges by means of sonication and cation exchange contained proteins (43.4%), humic-like substances (11.5%), nucleic acids (10.9%), carbohydrates (9.9%), and lipid-bound FA (1.8%). The lipids associated with EPS were composed of GL, PL, NL, and LPS acids in proportions of 61, 21, 16, and 2%, respectively. The profiles of lipid-bound FA in activated sludges and EPS were similar (around 85 separate FA were identified). The FA signatures observed can be attributed to the likely presence of yeasts, fungi, sulfate-reducing bacteria, gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, and, in lesser quantities, mycobacteria. Comparison of data from the dates of sampling (January and September) showed that there were more unsaturated PLFA in the EPS extracted from the activated sludges sampled in January. This observation could be partly related to microorganism adaptation to temperature variations. The comparison between two wastewater treatment plants showed that the FA profiles were similar, although differences in microbial community structure were also seen. Most of the FA in sludges had an even number of carbons.

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