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Biodegradation. 1996-1997;7(6):445-53.

Cultivation of Escherichia coli with mixtures of 3-phenylpropionic acid and glucose: dynamics of growth and substrate consumption.

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Swiss Federal Institute for Environmental Science and Technology (EAWAG), Dübendorf, Switzerland.


In technical as well as natural ecosystems, pollutants are often mineralised in the presence of easily degradable carbon sources. A laboratory model system consisting of Escherichia coli ML 30 growing with mixtures of 3-phenylpropionic acid (3ppa, 'pollutant') and glucose (easily degradable substrate) was investigated in batch and carbon-limited continuous culture. Untypically, a linear growth pattern was observed during batch cultivation with 3ppa as the only carbon/energy source. When exposed to mixtures of both substrates in batch culture, E. coli utilised the two compounds sequentially. However, 3ppa and glucose were consumed simultaneously in continuous culture. Whereas a pulse of excess glucose to a batch culture growing with 3ppa led to the repression of 3ppa utilisation, an excess of glucose added into continuous culture did not inhibit the utilisation of 3ppa. During continuous cultivation the 3ppa-degrading enzyme system operated close to saturation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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