Xenobiotic biodegradation test using attached bacteria in synthetic seawater


The aerobic biodegradability of aniline, used as reference chemical, has been performed in synthetic seawater with attached biomass in a continuously fed reactor (biofilm chemostat reactor, BCR). Marine bacteria inocula came from local marine fish aquarium filters to limit the geographic and seasonal variations in quality. A pretreatment of these inocula combining 5-μm filtration and centrifugation was used to concentrate bacteria and remove organic carbon contamination of the test. The performances of the BCR were tested in comparison with simple shake flask tests. Among the different variables tested, the ratio S0X0 (initial concentration of xenobiotic to initial density of the inoculum), the presence of dissolved oxygen, and the hydraulic residence time appear to be the key parameters controlling the length of the biodegradation process. On the other hand, the addition of a co-substrate (easily biodegradable compound) does not provide advantages. Thus, marine biofilm chemostat reactors with a high density of attached bacteria (around 107 cells cm−2) and fed with synthetic seawater plus nitrogen provide good tools for screening biodegradability of chemicals in the marine environment.




Osswald, P., R. Courtes, P. Bauda, J.C. Block, J.D. Bryers, and E. Sunde. “Xenobiotic Biodegradation Test Using Attached Bacteria in Synthetic Seawater.” Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 31, no. 3 (August 1995): 211–217. doi:10.1006/eesa.1995.1065.
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