Journal of industrial microbiology & biotechnology

Stabilization of single species Synechocystis biofilms by cultivation under segmented flow.

PMID 25948048


The application of segmented flow on a Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 biofilm prevented excessive biomass formation and clogging by fundamentally changing the structure of the microbial community. It was possible to continuously operate a capillary microreactor for 5 weeks, before the experiment was actively terminated. The biofilm developed up to a thickness of 70-120 µm. Surprisingly, the biofilm stopped growing at this thickness and stayed constant without any detachment events occurring afterwards. The substrates CO2 and light were supplied in a counter-current fashion. Confocal microscopy revealed a throughout photosynthetically active biofilm, indicated by the red fluorescence of photo pigments. This control concept and biofilm reaction setup may enable continuous light driven synthesis of value added compounds in future.