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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1984 Jun;47(6):1299-306.

Models for mineralization kinetics with the variables of substrate concentration and population density.


The rates of mineralization of [14C]benzoate by an induced population of Pseudomonas sp. were measured at initial substrate concentrations ranging from 10 ng/ml to 100 micrograms/ml. Plots of the radioactivity remaining in the culture were fit by nonlinear regression to six kinetic models derived from the Monod equation. These models incorporate only the variables of substrate concentration and cell density. Plots of the mineralization kinetics in cultures containing low, intermediate, and high initial substrate concentrations were well fit by first-order, integrated Monod, and logarithmic kinetics, respectively. Parameters such as maximum specific growth rate, half-saturation constant, and initial population density divided by yield agreed between cultures to within a factor of 3.4. Benzoate mineralization by microorganisms in acclimated sewage was shown to fit logistic (sigmoidal), Monod, and logarithmic kinetics when the compound was added at initial concentrations of 0.1, 1.0, and 10 micrograms/ml, respectively. The mineralization of 10 micrograms of benzoate per ml in sewage also followed logarithmic kinetics in the absence of protozoa. It is concluded that much of the diversity in shapes of mineralization curves is a result of the interactions of substrate concentration and population density. Nonlinear regression with models incorporating these variables is a valuable means for analysis of microbial mineralization kinetics.

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