The impact of mixtures of xylose and glucose on the microbial diversity and fermentative metabolism of sequencing-batch or continuous enrichment cultures

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Abstract

Efficient industrial fermentation of lignocellulosic waste containing a large part of glucose and xylose is desirable to implement a circular economy. Mixed culture biotechnologies can aid in realizing this goal. The effect of feeding equivalent substrates to a microbial community, such a xylose and glucose, is not well understood in terms of the number of dominant species and how these species compete for the substrates. We compared the metabolism and microbial community structure in a continuous-flow stirred tank reactor (CSTR) and a sequencing batch reactor (SBR) fed with a mixture of xylose and glucose, inoculated with bovine rumen at pH 8, 30°C and a hydraulic retention time of 8 h. We hypothesised that a CSTR will select for generalist species, taking up both substrates. We used 16S rRNA gene sequencing and fluorescent in situ hybridisation to accurately determine the microbial community structures. Both enrichments were stoichiometrically and kinetically characterised. The CSTR enrichment culture was dominated by Clostridium intestinale (91% ± 2%). The SBR showed an abundance of Enterobacteriaceae (75% ± 8%), dominated by Citrobacter freundii and a minor fraction of Raoultella ornithinolytica. C. freundii ferments xylose and glucose in a non-diauxic fashion. Clearly, a non-diauxic generalist outcompetes specialists and diauxic generalists in SBR environments.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalFEMS Microbiology Ecology
Volume95
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • carbon catabolite repression
  • chemostat
  • microbial selection
  • mixed substrates
  • sequencing batch reactor

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