Applied and environmental microbiology

Planktonic versus biofilm catabolic communities: importance of the biofilm for species selection and pesticide degradation.

PMID 21602394


Chloropropham-degrading cultures were obtained from sludge and soil samples by using two different enrichment techniques: (i) planktonic enrichments in shaken liquid medium and (ii) biofilm enrichments on two types of solid matrixes (plastic chips and gravel). Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis fingerprinting showed that planktonic and biofilm cultures had a different community composition depending on the presence and type of added solid matrix during enrichment. This was reflected in the unique chloropropham-degrading species that could be isolated from the different cultures. Planktonic and biofilm cultures also differed in chloropropham-degrading activity. With biofilm cultures, slower chloropropham removal was observed, but with less build-up of the toxic intermediate 3-chloroaniline. Disruption of the biofilm architecture resulted in degradation characteristics shifting toward those of the free suspensions, indicating the importance of a well-established biofilm structure for good performance. These results show that biofilm-mediated enrichment techniques can be used to select for pollutant-degrading microorganisms that like to proliferate in a biofilm and that cannot be isolated using conventional shaken-liquid procedures. Furthermore, the influence of the biofilm architecture on the pesticide degradation characteristics suggests that for bioaugmentation the use of biofilm catabolic communities might be a proficient alternative to using planktonic freely suspended cultures.

Related Materials