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Microb Ecol. 2000 Apr;39(3):246-262.

Quantification of Methanosaeta Species in Anaerobic Bioreactors Using Genus- and Species-Specific Hybridization Probes.

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Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA.


A BSTRACTTo evaluate the role of Methanosaeta spp. in a variety of anaerobic environments, small-subunit rRNA targeted oligonucleotide hybridization probes were developed and experimentally characterized. The probes were designed to be genus specific for Methanosaeta and species specific for Methanosaeta concilii and Methanosaeta thermophila. The temperature of dissociation was determined for each probe. Probe specificities were determined using a diverse collection of Archaea and through an evaluation of probe nesting using samples from a variety of anaerobic bioreactors. Cell fixation and hybridization conditions for fluorescence in situ hybridizations were also evaluated. Although permeability of methanogens was variable, M. concilii cells could be permeabilized using a range of paraformaldehyde and ethanol based fixation conditions. Using the newly designed probes together with previously designed probes for methanogens, it was determined that Methanosaeta spp. were the dominant aceticlastic methanogens in a variety of anaerobic bioreactors when acetate concentrations were low. Their levels were higher in bioreactors with granular sludge than in those with flocculent sludge. In lab-scale upflow anaerobic sludge blanket reactors, the levels of M. concilii rRNA were as high as 30% of the total rRNA.


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