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Auto-aggregation properties of a novel aerobic denitrifier Enterobacter sp. strain FL

Wang, Xia, An, Qiang, Zhao, Bin, Guo, JinSong, Huang, YuanSheng, Tian, Meng
Applied microbiology and biotechnology 2018 v.102 no.4 pp. 2019-2030
Enterobacter, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, activated sludge, biomass, confocal laser scanning microscopy, denitrification, denitrifying microorganisms, nitrate nitrogen, nitrogen, nitrous oxide, oxygen, polysaccharides, proteins, wastewater treatment
Enterobacter sp. strain FL was newly isolated from activated sludge and exhibited significant capability of auto-aggregation as well as aerobic denitrification. The removal efficiencies of NO₃⁻-N, total nitrogen (TN), and TOC by strain FL in batch culture reached 94.6, 63.9, and 72.5% in 24 h, respectively. The production of N₂O and N₂ in the presence of oxygen demonstrated the occurrence of aerobic denitrification. The auto-aggregation index of strain FL reached 54.3%, suggesting a high tendency that the cells would agglomerate into aggregates. The production of extracellular polymeric substances (EPSs), which were mainly composed of proteins followed by polysaccharides, was considered to be related to the cell aggregation according to Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) and confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM). The proteins in EPS were evenly and tightly combined to cells and altered the protein secondary structures of cell surface from random coils to β-sheets and three-turn helices. The alteration of protein secondary structures of cell surface caused by the proteins in EPS might play a dominant role in the auto-aggregation of strain FL. To further assess the feasibility of strain FL for synthetic wastewater treatment, a sequencing batch reactor (SBR), solely inoculated with strain FL, was conducted. During the 16 running cycles, the removal efficiency of NO₃⁻-N was 90.2–99.7% and the auto-aggregation index was stabilized at 35.0–41.5%. The EPS promoted the biomass of strain FL to aggregate in the SBR.