Oxygen Uptake Rate as an Indicator of the Substrates Utilized by Candidatus Accumulibacter

Dorofeev et al. (2023). Water 15 (20)
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Aquatic Science Biochemistry Geography, Planning and Development Water Science and Technology
Candidatus Accumulibacter belongs to phosphate-accumulating organisms (PAOs) which exhibit a cyclic metabolism and are capable of intracellular polyphosphate accumulation and their hydrolysis under feast-famine anaerobic-aerobic cycling. In consortia of activated sludge microorganisms, these bacteria are responsible for enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR). The spectrum of the substrates used by Ca. Accumulibacter remains insufficiently studied. It was investigated by measuring the oxygen uptake rates (OUR) of Ca. Accumulibacter-enriched culture supplemented with 17 different organic substrates. The highest oxygen uptake rate values were observed in the presence of tryptone, volatile fatty acids (acetate, propionate, and butyrate), succinate, pyruvate, and amino acids (aspartate and glutamate). Phosphate dynamics in the medium under shifts from anaerobic to aerobic cultivation in batch experiments were studied for these compounds (except for tryptone). All tested substrates were shown to cause phosphate cycling (release in the anaerobic phase and uptake in the aerobic one), with OURs for the substrates correlating with the number of phosphates consumed during the aerobic phase. It was concluded that OUR may be used as an indicator of the monosubstrates used by Ca. Accumulibacter in the anaerobic/aerobic cycle. The possible pathways for substrate transport and metabolism by Ca. Accumulibacter are discussed using stoichiometric data and the results of metagenomic analysis.
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