Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology

, Volume 137, Issue 1, pp 909–925

Functional stability of a mixed microbial consortium producing PHA from waste carbon sources


  • Erik R. Coats
    • Department of Civil EngineeringUniversity of Idaho
    • Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringUniversity of California Davis
  • William A. Smith
    • Biotechnology DepartmentIdaho National Laboratory
  • David N. Thompson
    • Biotechnology DepartmentIdaho National Laboratory
  • Michael P. Wolcott
    • Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringWashington State University
Session 5: Bioprocessing And Separations R&D

DOI: 10.1007/s12010-007-9107-6

Cite this article as:
Coats, E.R., Loge, F.J., Smith, W.A. et al. Appl Biochem Biotechnol (2007) 137: 909. doi:10.1007/s12010-007-9107-6


Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) represent an environmentally effective alternative to synthetic thermoplastics; however, current production practices are not sustainable. In this study, PHA production was accomplished in sequencing batch bioreactors utilizing real wastewaters and mixed microbial consortia from municipal activated sludge as inoculum. Polymer production reached 85, 53, and 10% of the cell dry weight from methanol-enriched pulp and paper mill foul condensate, fermented municipal primary solids, and biodiesel wastewater, respectively. Using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis of 16S-rDNA from polymerase chain reaction-amplified DNA extracts, distinctly different communities were observed between and within wastewaters following enrichment. Most importantly, functional stability was maintained despite differing and contrasting microbial populations.

Index Entries

Activated sludge denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis polyhydroxyalkanoates wastewater primary solids fermentate foul condensate environmental biotechnology

Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc 2007