Environmental technology

Vinyl acetate degradation by Brevibacillus agri isolated from a slightly aerated methanogenic reactor.

PMID 20232673


In a previous paper, the authors showed that a slight aeration of a methanogenic reactor treating wastewater from the manufacture of polymeric resins could improve its performance, by increasing or allowing the removal of some of its contaminants, including vinyl acetate (VA). This paper reports the isolation under aerobic conditions of a VA-biodegrading axenic culture (strain C1) retrieved from the sludge of a slightly aerated methanogenic reactor at 1 mg L(-1) d(-1) of dissolved oxygen (DO). The axenic culture obtained was phenotypically (morphology, biochemical properties, VA consumption kinetics) and phylogenetically characterized. It formed white colonies with a branched and flat morphology on solid medium. The cell morphology of the isolate was bacillus with round endings and flagellate. The cells could form chains and were stained Gram-negative. The isolate required simple nutritional elements and had a growth rate of 0.024 h(-1). The phylogenetical analysis showed that the aerobic bacterium was identified as Brevibacillus agri, with 99.3% similarity. The VA consumption kinetics in the methanogenic sludge were: volumetric consumption rate (rVA) of 1.74 +/- 0.2 mg L(-1) h(-1), maximum specific consumption rate (qVAmax) of 3.98 mg g(-1) volatile suspended solids (VSS) h(-1) and affinity constant (Ks) of 457.1 mg L(-1). The same parameters in the axenic culture were 1.69 +/- 0.04 mg L(-1) (h-1), 4.09 mg g(-1) dry weight h(-1) and 421.9 mg L(-1), respectively. These results show evidence that the aerobic isolated bacterium, identified as Brevibacillus agri, carried out the VA hydrolysis in the slightly aerated methanogenic sludge, which is the limiting step in the degradation of this compound.