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J Biosci Bioeng. 2005 Feb;99(2):150-64.

Microbial community analysis of mesophilic anaerobic protein degradation process using bovine serum albumin (BSA)-fed continuous cultivation.

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  • 1Department of Materials and Life Science, Graduate School of Science and Technology, Kumamoto University, 2-39-1 Kurokami, Kumamoto City, Kumamoto 860-8555, Japan.


Two mesophilic anaerobic chemostats, one without added Ni2+ and Co2+ (chemostat 1) and the other with added Ni2+ and Co2+ (chemostat 2), were supplied with synthetic wastewater containing bovine serum albumin (BSA) as the sole carbon and energy source in order to study the capacity of protein degradation, microbial community structure and the effects of the addition of trace metals. Volatile fatty acids and ammonia were the main products of chemostat 1, while methane, CO2 and ammonia were the main products of chemostat 2, and critical dilution rates of 0.15 d-1 and 0.08 d-1 were obtained, respectively. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) with archaeal and bacterial domain-specific probes showed that archaeal cells were very limited in chemostat 1 while large populations of several types of archaeal cells were present in chemostat 2. Phylogenetic analyses based on 16S rRNA gene clonal sequences, DGGE, and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) showed that, within the domain Archaea, methanogens affiliated with the genera Methanosaeta and Methanoculleus were predominant in chemostat 2. Within the domain Bacteria, rRNA genes obtained from chemostat 1 were affiliated with the three phyla; Firmicutes (43%), Bacteroidetes (50%) and Proteobacteria (7%). A total of 56% of rRNA genes obtained from chemostat 2 was affiliated with the three phyla, Firmicutes (32%), Bacteroidetes (11%) and Proteobacteria (13%) while 44% of rRNA genes remained unclassified. Phylogenetically distinct clones were obtained in these two chemostats, suggesting that different protein degradation pathways were dominant in the two chemostats: coupled degradation of amino acids via the Stickland reaction in chemostat 1 and uncoupled degradation of amino acids via syntrophic association of amino acid degraders and hydrogenotrophic methanogens in chemostat 2.

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