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Pre-incubation conditions determine the fermentation pattern and microbial community structure in fermenters at mild hydrostatic pressure

  • Cerón Chafla, Pamela Stefanía
  • García Timermans, Cristina
  • De Vrieze, Jo
  • Ganigué, Ramon
  • Boon, Nico
  • Rabaey, Korneel
  • van Lier, Jules B.
  • Lindeboom, Ralph E. F.
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2022
DOI: 10.1002/bit.28085
Ghent University Institutional Archive
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Fermentation at elevated hydrostatic pressure is a novel strategy targeting product selectivity. However, the role of inoculum history and cross-resistance, that is, acquired tolerance from incubation under distinctive environmental stress, remains unclear in high-pressure operation. In our here presented work, we studied fermentation and microbial community responses of halotolerant marine sediment inoculum (MSI) and anaerobic digester inoculum (ADI), pre-incubated in serum bottles at different temperatures and subsequently exposed to mild hydrostatic pressure (MHP; < 10 MPa) in stainless steel reactors. Results showed that MHP effects on microbial growth, activity, and community structure were strongly temperature-dependent. At moderate temperature (20 degrees C), biomass yield and fermentation were not limited by MHP; suggesting a cross-resistance effect from incubation temperature and halotolerance. Low temperatures (10 degrees C) and MHP imposed kinetic and bioenergetic limitations, constraining growth and product formation. Fermentation remained favorable in MSI at 28 degrees C and ADI at 37 degrees C, despite reduced biomass yield resulting from maintenance and decay proportionally increasing with temperature. Microbial community structure was modified by temperature during the enrichment, and slight differences observed after MHP-exposure did not compromise functionality. Results showed that the relation incubation temperature-halotolerance proved to be a modifier of microbial responses to MHP and could be potentially exploited in fermentations to modulate product/biomass ratio.

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