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Ammonium influences kinetics and structure of methanotrophic consortia

López, Juan C., Porca, Estefanía, Collins, Gavin, Clifford, Eoghan, Quijano, Guillermo, Muñoz, Raúl
Waste management 2019 v.89 pp. 345-353
Methylobacter, Methylocystis, Methylomicrobium, Methylosarcina, ammonium, biodegradation, biotechnology, inoculum, landfills, leachates, methane, methanotrophs, microbial ecology, oxidation, soil, waste management
The literature is conflicted on the influence of ammonium on the kinetics and microbial ecology of methanotrophy. In this study, methanotrophic cultures were enriched, under ammonium concentrations ranging from 0 to 200 mM, from an inoculum comprising leachate and top-cover soil from a landfill. Specific CH4 biodegradation rates were highest (7.8 × 10−4 ± 6.0 × 10−5 gCH4 gX−1 h−1) in cultures enriched at 4 mM NH4+, which were mainly dominated by type II methanotrophs belonging to Methylocystis spp. Lower specific CH4 oxidation rates (average values of 1.8–3.6 × 10−4 gCH4 gX−1 h−1) were achieved by cultures enriched at higher NH4+ concentrations (20 and 80 mM), and had higher affinity for CH4 compared to 4 mM enrichments. These lower affinities were attributed to lower diversity dominated by type I methanotrophs, of the Methylosarcina, Methylobacter and Methylomicrobium genera, encountered with increasing concentrations of NH4+. The study indicates that CH4 oxidation biotechnologies applied at low NH4+ concentrations can support efficient abatement of CH4 and high diversity of methanotrophic consortia, whilst enriching type II methanotrophs.