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Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2007 May;75(2):451-65. Epub 2007 Jan 13.

Effect of dilution rate on the microbial structure of a mesophilic butyrate-degrading methanogenic community during continuous cultivation.

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


We constructed two mesophilic anaerobic chemostats that were continuously fed with synthetic wastewater containing butyrate as the sole source of carbon and energy. Steady-state conditions were achieved at dilution rates between 0.025 and 0.7 day(-1). Butyrate, fed into the chemostat, was almost completely mineralized to CH(4) and CO(2) at dilution rates below 0.5 day(-1). The butyrate-degrading methanogenic communities in the chemostats at dilution rates between 0.025 and 0.7 day(-1) were monitored based on the 16S rRNA gene, using molecular biological techniques including clone library analysis, denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis, and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. The aceticlastic methanogen Methanosaeta and the hydrogenotrophic methanogen Methanoculleus dominated in methanogens at low dilution rates, whereas the aceticlastic methanogen Methanosaeta, Methanosarcina, the hydrogenotrophic methanogen Methanoculleus, and Methanospirillum dominated at high dilution rates. Bacteria affiliated with the family Syntrophaceae in the phylum Proteobacteria predominated at the low dilution rate of 0.025 day(-1), whereas bacteria affiliated with the phylum Firmicutes and Candidate division OP3 predominated at high dilution rates. A significant quantity of bacteria closely related to the genus Syntrophomonas was detected at high dilution rates. Dilution rate showed an apparent effect on archaeal and bacterial communities in the butyrate-fed chemostats.

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