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Metabolic interactions between methanogenic consortia and anaerobic respiring bacteria.

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Wageningen University and Research Centre, Laboratory of Microbiology, Hesselink van Suchtelenweg 4, 6703 CT Wageningen, The Netherlands.


Most types of anaerobic respiration are able to outcompete methanogenic consortia for common substrates if the respective electron acceptors are present in sufficient amounts. Furthermore, several products or intermediate compounds formed by anaerobic respiring bacteria are toxic to methanogenic consortia. Despite the potentially adverse effects, only few inorganic electron acceptors potentially utilizable for anaerobic respiration have been investigated with respect to negative interactions in anaerobic digesters. In this chapter we review competitive and inhibitory interactions between anaerobic respiring populations and methanogenic consortia in bioreactors. Due to the few studies in anaerobic digesters, many of our discussions are based upon studies of defined cultures or natural ecosystems.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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