Highly complex substrates lead to dynamic bacterial community for polyhydroxyalkanoates production

Diogo Queirós, Alexandre Fonseca, Simona Rossetti, Luísa S. Serafim, P. C. Lemos

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Mixed microbial cultures (MMC) and waste/surplus substrates, as hardwood spent sulfite liquor, are being used to decrease polyhydroxyalkanoates’ (PHA) production costs. The process involves two or three steps, being the selection step a crucial one. For the industrial implementation of this strategy, reactor stability in terms of both performance and microbial community presence has to be considered. A long-term operation of a sequencing batch reactor under feast/famine conditions was performed along with microbial community identification/quantification using FISH and DGGE. The community was found to be extremely dynamic, dominated by Alphaproteobacteria, with Paracoccus and Rhodobacter present, both PHA-storing microorganisms. 16S rRNA gene clone library further revealed that side populations’ non-PHA accumulators were able to strive (Agrobacterium, Flavobacteria, and Brachymonas). Nevertheless, reactor performance in terms of PHA storage was stable during operation time. The monitoring of the MMC population evolution provided information on the relation between community structure and process operation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1215-1224
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017


  • Bacterial community dynamics
  • Hardwood spent sulfite liquor (HSSL)
  • Mixed microbial cultures (MMC)
  • Molecular methods
  • Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA)

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