Temperature and immigration effects on quorum sensing in the biofilms of anaerobic membrane bioreactors

Tabraiz, Shamas, Petropoulos, Evangelos, Shamurad, Burhan, Quintela-Baluja, Marcos, Mohapatra, Sanjeeb, Acharya, Kishor, Charlton, Alex, Davenport, Russell J., Dolfing, Jan and Sallis, Paul J. (2021) Temperature and immigration effects on quorum sensing in the biofilms of anaerobic membrane bioreactors. Journal of Environmental Management, 293. p. 112947. ISSN 0301-4797

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2021.112947


Quorum sensing (QS), a microbial communication mechanism modulated by acyl homoserine lactone (AHL) molecules impacts biofilm formation in bioreactors. This study investigated the effects of temperature and immigration on AHL levels and biofouling in anaerobic membrane bioreactors. The hypothesis was that the immigrant microbial community would increase the AHL-mediated QS, thus stimulating biofouling and that low temperatures would exacerbate this. We observed that presence of immigrants, especially when exposed to low temperatures indeed increased AHL concentrations and fouling in the biofilms on the membranes. At low temperature, the concentrations of the main AHLs observed, N-dodecanoyl-L-homoserine lactone and N-decanoyl-L-homoserine lactone, were significantly higher in the biofilms than in the sludge and correlated significantly with the abundance of immigrant bacteria. Apparently low temperature, immigration and denser community structure in the biofilm stressed the communities, triggering AHL production and excretion. These insights into the social behaviour of reactor communities responding to low temperature and influx of immigrants have implications for biofouling control in bioreactors.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding Information: We gratefully acknowledge funding from Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in UK and Newcastle University UK; Evangelos Petropoulos and Jan Dolfing acknowledge BB/K003240/1 (Engineering synthetic microbial communities for biomethane production).
Uncontrolled Keywords: Anaerobic membrane bioreactor, Fouling, Immigrant community effect, Low-temperature effect, Quorum sensing
Subjects: H300 Mechanical Engineering
H800 Chemical, Process and Energy Engineering
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Mechanical and Construction Engineering
Depositing User: Rachel Branson
Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2021 09:50
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2022 03:31
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/46647

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