Factors affecting microbial sulfate reduction by Desulfovibrio desulfuricans in continuous culture: limiting nutrients and sulfide concentration

Biotechnology and Bioengineering
S OkabeW G Charcklis


The effects of sulfate and nitrogen concentrations of the rate and stoichiometry of microbial sulfate reduction were investigated for Desulfovibrio desulfuricans grown on lactate and sulfate in a chemostat at pH 7.0. Maximum specific growth rates (micro(max)), half-saturation coefficients (K(sul)), and cell yield (Y(c/Lac)) of 0.344 +/- 0.007 and 0.352 +/- 0.003 h (-1), 1.8 +/- 0.3 and 1.0 +/- 0.2 mg/L, and 0.020 +/- 0.003 and 0.017 +/- 0.003 g cell/g lactate, respectively, were obtained under sulfate-limiting conditions at 35 degrees C and 43 degrees C. Maintenance energy requirements for D. desulfuricans were significant under sulfate-limiting conditions. The extent of extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) produced was related to the carbon: nitrogen ratio in the medium. EPS production rate increased with decreased nitrogen loading rate. Nitrogen starvation also resulted in decreased cell size of D. desulfuricans. The limiting C : N ratio (w/w) for D. desulfuricans was in the range of 45 : 1 to 120 : 1. Effects of sulfide on microbial sulfate reduction, cell size, and biomass production were also investigated at pH 7.0. Fifty percent inhibition of lactate utilization occurred at a total sulfide concentration of approximatel...Continue Reading


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