Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

, Volume 62, Issue 3, pp 231–237

Heterotrophic nitrification and aerobic denitrification inAlcaligenes faecalis strain TUD

  • E. W. J. van Niel
  • K. J. Braber
  • L. A. Robertson
  • J. G. Kuenen


Heterotrophic nitrification and aerobic and anaerobic denitrification byAlcaligenes faecalis strain TUD were studied in continuous cultures under various environmental conditions. Both nitrification and denitrification activities increased with the dilution rate. At dissolved oxygen concentrations above 46% air saturation, hydroxylamine, nitrite and nitrate accumulated, indicating that both the nitrification and denitrification were less efficient. The overall nitrification activity was, however, essentially unaffected by the oxygen concentration. The nitrification rate increased with increasing ammonia concentration, but was lower in the presence of nitrate or nitrite. When present, hydroxylamine, was nitrified preferentially. Relatively low concentrations of acetate caused substrate inhibition (KI=109 μM acetate). Denitrifying or assimilatory nitrate reductases were not detected, and the copper nitrite reductase, rather than cytochrome cd, was present. Thiosulphate (a potential inhibitor of heterotrophic nitrification) was oxidized byA. faecalis strain TUD, with a maximum oxygen uptake rate of 140–170nmol O2·min-1·mg prot-1. Comparison of the behaviour ofA. faecalis TUD with that of other bacteria capable of heterotrophic nitrification and aerobic denitrification established that the response of these organisms to environmental parameters is not uniform. Similarities were found in their responses to dissolved oxygen concentrations, growth rate and ammonia concentration. However, they differed in their responses to externally supplied nitrite and nitrate.

Key words

Alcaligenes faecalis aerobe chemostat denitrification heterotroph nitrification 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. W. J. van Niel
    • 1
  • K. J. Braber
    • 1
  • L. A. Robertson
    • 1
  • J. G. Kuenen
    • 1
  1. 1.Kluyver Laboratory for BiotechnologyDelft University of TechnologyDelftThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of MicrobiologyWageningen Agricultural UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands

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