Anaerobic degradation of benzoate to methane by a microbial consortium

James Gregory Ferry, R. S. Wolfe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

100 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A stabilized consortium of microbes which anaerobically degraded benzoate and produced CH 4 was established by inoculation of a benzoate-mineral salts medium with sewage sludge; the consortium was routinely subcultured anaerobically in this medium for 3 years. Acetate, formate, H 2 and CO 2 were identified as intermediates in the overall conversion of benzoate to CH 4 by the culture. Radioactivity was equally divided between the CH 4 and CO 2 from the degradation of uniformly ring-labeled [ 14 C]benzoate. The methyl group of acetate was stoichiometrically converted to CH 4 . Acetate, cyclohexanecarboxylate, 2-hydroxycyclohexanecarboxylate, o-hydroxybenzoic acid and pimelic acid were converted to CH 4 without a lag suggesting that benzoate was degraded by a reductive pathway. Addition of o-chlorobenzoate inhibited benzoate degradation but not acetate degradation or methane formation. Two methanogenic organisms were isolated from the mixed culture, neither organism was able to degrade benzoate, showing that the methanogenic bacteria served as terminal organisms of a metabolic food chain composed of several organisms. Removal of intermediates by the methanogenic bacteria provided thermodynamically favorable conditions for benzoate degradation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-40
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of Microbiology
Volume107
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 1976

Fingerprint

Microbial Consortia
Benzoates
Methane
Degradation
Acetates
Methanogens
formic acid
Carbon Monoxide
Sewage
Pimelic Acids
Chlorobenzoates
Bacteria
Food Chain
Salicylic Acid
Radioactivity
Sewage sludge
Minerals
Salts

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

Cite this

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abstract = "A stabilized consortium of microbes which anaerobically degraded benzoate and produced CH 4 was established by inoculation of a benzoate-mineral salts medium with sewage sludge; the consortium was routinely subcultured anaerobically in this medium for 3 years. Acetate, formate, H 2 and CO 2 were identified as intermediates in the overall conversion of benzoate to CH 4 by the culture. Radioactivity was equally divided between the CH 4 and CO 2 from the degradation of uniformly ring-labeled [ 14 C]benzoate. The methyl group of acetate was stoichiometrically converted to CH 4 . Acetate, cyclohexanecarboxylate, 2-hydroxycyclohexanecarboxylate, o-hydroxybenzoic acid and pimelic acid were converted to CH 4 without a lag suggesting that benzoate was degraded by a reductive pathway. Addition of o-chlorobenzoate inhibited benzoate degradation but not acetate degradation or methane formation. Two methanogenic organisms were isolated from the mixed culture, neither organism was able to degrade benzoate, showing that the methanogenic bacteria served as terminal organisms of a metabolic food chain composed of several organisms. Removal of intermediates by the methanogenic bacteria provided thermodynamically favorable conditions for benzoate degradation.",
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Anaerobic degradation of benzoate to methane by a microbial consortium. / Ferry, James Gregory; Wolfe, R. S.

In: Archives of Microbiology, Vol. 107, No. 1, 01.02.1976, p. 33-40.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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