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Biodegradation. 1998;9(3-4):169-77.

Detection and quantification of microorganisms in anaerobic bioreactors.

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DLO Institute for Animal Science and Health, PO Box 65, 8200, AB Lelystad, The Netherlands.


The presence of sulfate in anaerobic reactors can trigger competitive and syntrophic interactions between various groups of microorganisms, such as sulfate reducers, methanogens and acetogens. In order to steer the reactor process in the direction of sulfidogenesis or methanogenesis, it is essential to get insight into the population dynamics of these groups of microorganisms upon changes in the reactor operating conditions. Several methods exist to characterize and quantify the microbial sludge composition. Combining classical microbiological and modern molecular-based sludge characterization methods has proven to be a powerful approach to study the microbial composition of the anaerobic sludge.


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