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Anodic microbial community analysis of microbial fuel cells based on enriched inoculum from freshwater sediment

  • Armato, C.
  • Ahmed, D.
  • Agostino, V.
  • Traversi, D.
  • Degan, R.
  • Tommasi, T.
  • Margaria, V.
  • Sacco, A.
  • Gilli, G.
  • Quaglio, M.
  • Saracco, G.
  • Schiliro, T.
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2019
PORTO Publications Open Repository TOrino


Abstract: The characterization of anodic microbial communities is of great importance in the study of microbial fuel cells (MFCs). These kinds of devices mainly require a high abundance of anode respiring bacteria (ARB) in the anode chamber for optimal performance. This study evaluated the effect of different enrichments of environmental freshwater sediment samples used as inocula on microbial community structures in MFCs. Two enrichment media were compared: ferric citrate (FeC) enrichment, with the purpose of increasing the ARB percentage, and general enrichment (Gen). The microbial community dynamics were evaluated by polymerase chain reaction followed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE) and real time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). The enrichment effect was visible on the microbial community composition both during precultures and in anode MFCs. Both enrichment approaches affected microbial communities. Shannon diversity as well as β-Proteobacteria and γ-Proteobacteria percentages decreased during the enrichment steps, especially for FeC (p < 0.01). Our data suggest that FeC enrichment excessively reduced the diversity of the anode community, rather than promoting the proliferation of ARB, causing a condition that did not produce advantages in terms of system performance. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

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