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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1989 Apr;55(4):897-901.

Characterization of the bacterial population structure in an anaerobic-aerobic activated sludge system on the basis of respiratory quinone profiles.

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Tokyo Research Laboratory, Konishi Co., Ltd., Japan.


Bacterial respiratory quinones were used as biomarkers for studying the bacterial population structure, especially the content of Acinetobacter species, in a laboratory-scale anaerobic-aerobic activated sludge system and in the standard aerobic system. All tested sludges contained both ubiquinone and menaquinone, with a molar ratio of about 1:0.5. High-performance liquid chromatography showed that ubiquinone with eight isoprene units (Q-8) was present as the predominant ubiquinone, Q-10 was the second most common type, and Q-9 and other homologs were minor components in the anaerobic-aerobic sludge and the standard aerobic sludge. Bacteriological examination indicated that, in both sludge systems, Q-8-containing bacteria constituted a large proportion of the aerobic heterotrophic bacterial flora, but only a few strains with Q-9 were found. These findings demonstrate that the population of Acinetobacter species, which contain Q-9 as the major quinone, is negligible in those environments. The present results suggest that the introduction of anaerobic conditions into the aerobic batch process has little influence on the bacterial community structure.

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