Quantitative population dynamics of microbial communities in plankton-fed microbial fuel cells
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White, Helen K
Reimers, Clare E
Cordes, Erik E
Dilly, Geoffrey F
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CitationWhite, Helen K, Clare E Reimers, Erik E Cordes, Geoffrey F Dilly, and Peter R Girguis. 2009. “Quantitative Population Dynamics of Microbial Communities in Plankton-Fed Microbial Fuel Cells.” The ISME Journal 3 (6) (February 26): 635–646. doi:10.1038/ismej.2009.12.
AbstractThis study examines changes in diversity and abundance of bacteria recovered from the anodes of microbial fuel cells (MFCs) in relation to anode potential, power production and geochemistry. MFCs were batch-fed with plankton, and two systems were maintained at different potentials whereas one was at open circuit for 56.8 days. Bacterial phylogenetic diversity during peak power was assessed from 16S rDNA clone libraries. Throughout the experiment, microbial community structure was examined using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism. Changes in cell density of key phylotypes, including representatives of δ-, ε-, γ-proteobacteria and Flavobacterium-Cytophaga-Bacteroides, were enumerated by quantitative PCR. Marked differences in phylogenetic diversity were observed during peak power versus the final time point, and changes in microbial community structure were strongly correlated to dissolved organic carbon and ammonium concentrations within the anode chambers. Community structure was notably different between the MFCs at different anode potentials during the onset of peak power. At the final time point, however, the anode-hosted communities in all MFCs were similar. These data demonstrate that differences in growth, succession and population dynamics of key phylotypes were due to anode potential, which may relate to their ability to exploit the anode as an electron acceptor. The geochemical milieu, however, governs overall community diversity and structure. These differences reflect the physiological capacity of specific phylotypes to catabolize plankton-derived organic matter and exploit the anode of an MFC for their metabolism directly or indirectly through syntrophy.
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