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Reference Sulphide oxidation to elemental sulphur in a membrane bioreactor: performance and characterization of the selected microbial sulphur-oxidizing community. Vannini C, Munz G, Mori G, Lubello C, Verni F, Petroni G. Systematic and applied microbiology. 2008.
Abstract In leather tanning industrial areas sulphide management represents a major problem. However, biological sulphide oxidation to sulphur represents a convenient solution to this problem. Elemental sulphur is easy to separate and the process is highly efficient in terms of energy consumption and effluent quality. As the oxidation process is performed by specialized bacteria, selection of an appropriate microbial community is fundamental for obtaining a good yield. Sulphur oxidizing bacteria (SOB) represent a wide-ranging and highly diversified group of microorganisms with the capability of oxidizing reduced sulphur compounds. Therefore, it is useful to select new microbes that are able to perform this process efficiently. For this purpose, an experimental membrane bioreactor for sulphide oxidation was set up, and the selected microbial community was characterized by constructing 16S rRNA gene libraries and subsequent screening of clones. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) was then used to assess the relative abundance of different bacterial groups. Sulphide oxidation to elemental sulphur proceeded in an efficient (up to 79% conversion) and stable way in the bioreactor. Both analysis of clone libraries and FISH experiments revealed that the dominant operational taxonomic unit (OTU) in the bioreactor was constituted by Gammaproteobacteria belonging to the Halothiobacillaceae family. FISH performed with the specifically designed probe tios_434 demonstrated that this OTU constituted 90.6+/-1.3% of the bacterial community. Smaller fractions were represented by bacteria belonging to the classes Betaproteobacteria, Alphaproteobacteria, Deltaproteobacteria, Clostridia, Mollicutes, Sphingobacteria, Bacteroidetes and Chlorobia. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that clone sequences from the dominant OTU formed a stable clade (here called the TIOS44 cluster), within the Halothiobacillaceae family, with sequences from many organisms that have not yet been validly described. The data indicated that bacteria belonging to the TIOS44 cluster were responsible for the oxidation process.
Pubmed ID 18814984
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