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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2008 Oct;287(2):156-62. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6968.2008.01314.x. Epub 2008 Sep 2.

Measurement and modeling of multiple substrate oxidation by methanotrophs at 20 degrees C.

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Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The University of Michigan, 1351 Beal Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.


Earlier experiments have shown that when Methylosinus trichosporium OB3b was grown at 30 degrees C, greater growth and degradation of chlorinated ethenes was observed under particulate methane monooxygenase (pMMO)-expressing conditions than sMMO-expressing conditions. The effect of temperature on the growth and ability of methanotrophs to degrade chlorinated ethenes, however, has not been examined, particularly temperatures more representative of groundwater systems. Thus, experiments were performed at 20 degrees C to examine the effect of mixtures of trichloroethylene, trans-dichloroethylene and vinyl chloride in the presence of methane on the growth and ability of Methylosinus trichosporium OB3b cells to degrade these pollutants. Although the maximal rates of chlorinated ethane degradation were greater by M. trichosporium OB3b expressing sMMO as compared with the same cell expressing pMMO, the growth and ability of sMMO-expressing cells to degrade these cosubstrates was substantially inhibited in their presence as compared with the same cell expressing pMMO. The Delta model developed earlier was found to be useful for predicting the effect of chlorinated ethenes on the growth and ability of M. trichosporium OB3b to degrade these compounds at a growth temperature of 20 degrees C. Finally, it was also discovered that at 20 degrees C, cells expressing pMMO exhibited faster turnover of methane than sMMO-expressing cells, unlike that found earlier at 30 degrees C, suggesting that temperature may exert selective pressure on methanotrophic communities to express sMMO or pMMO.

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