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Metaproteomic Analysis of Biocake Proteins To Understand Membrane Fouling in a Submerged Membrane Bioreactor

Zhou, Zhongbo, Meng, Fangang, He, Xiang, Chae, So-Ryong, An, Yujia, Jia, Xiaoshan
Environmental Science & Technology 2015 v.49 no.2 pp. 1068-1077
Aeromonas, Enterobacter, Pseudomonas, Thauera, bacteria, desorption, fouling, gels, ionization, membrane bioreactors, outer membrane proteins, pH, spectrometers, two-dimensional gel electrophoresis
Metaproteomic analyses, including two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (2D-PAGE) separation and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI)-time-of-flight (TOF)/TOF mass spectrometer (MS) detection, were used to trace and identify biocake proteins on membranes in a bench-scale submerged membrane bioreactor (MBR). 2D-PAGE images showed that proteins in the biocake (S3) at a low transmembrane pressure (TMP) level (i.e., before the TMP jump) had larger gray intensities in the pH 5.5–7.0 region regardless of the membrane flux, similar to soluble microbial product (SMP) proteins. However, the biocake (S2 and S4) at a high TMP level (i.e., after the TMP jump) had many more proteins in the pH range of 4.0–5.5, similar to extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) proteins. Such similarities between biocake proteins and SMP or EPS proteins can be useful for tracing the sources of proteins resulting in membrane fouling. In total, 183 differentially abundant protein spots were marked in the three biocakes (S2, S3, and S4). However, only 32 protein spots co-occurred in the 2D gels of the three biocakes, indicating that membrane fluxes and TMP evolution levels had significant effects on the abundance of biocake proteins. On the basis of the MS and MS/MS data, 23 of 71 protein spots were successfully identified. Of the 23 proteins, outer membrane proteins (Omp) were a major contributor (60.87%). These Omps were mainly from potential surface colonizers such as Aeromonas, Enterobacter, Pseudomonas, and Thauera. Generally, the metaproteomic analysis is a useful alternative to trace the sources and compositions of biocake proteins on the levels of molecules and bacteria species that can provide new insight into membrane fouling.