Now showing 1 - 8 of 8
  • Publication
    Characterisitics of Streptomyces griseus biofilms in continuous flow tubular reactors
    The purpose of this study was to investigate the feasibility of cultivating the biotechnologically important bacterium Streptomyces griseus in single-species and mixed- species biofilms using a Tubular Biofilm Reactor (TBR). Streptomyces griseus biofilm development was found to be cyclical, starting with the initial adhesion and subsequent development of a visible biofilm after 24 hours growth, followed by the complete detachment of the biofilm as a single mass, and ending with the re-colonization of the tube. Fluorescence microscopy revealed that the filamentous structure of the biofilm was lost upon treatment with protease, but not DNase or metaperiodate, indicating that the extracellular polymeric substance is predominantly protein. When the biofilm was cultivated in conjunction with Bacillus amyloliquefaciens, no detachment was observed after 96 h, although once subjected to flow detachment occurred. Electron microscopy confirmed the presence of both bacteria in the biofilm and revealed a network of fimbriae-like structures that were much less apparent in single-species biofilm, and are likely to increase mechanical stability when developing in a TBR. This study presents the very first attempt in engineering Streptomyces griseus biofilms for continuous bioprocess applications.
      880Scopus© Citations 15
  • Publication
    Filamentous fungal biofilm for production of human drug metabolites
    In drug development, access to drug metabolites is essential for assessment of toxicity and pharmacokinetic studies. Metabolites are usually acquired via chemical synthesis, although biological production is potentially more efficient with fewer waste management issues. A significant problem with the biological approach is the effective half-life of the biocatalyst, which can be resolved by immobilisation. The fungus Cunninghamella elegans is well established as a model of mammalian metabolism, although it has not yet been used to produce metabolites on a large scale. Here, we describe immobilisation of C. elegans as a biofilm, which can transform drugs to important human metabolites. The biofilm was cultivated on hydrophilic microtiter plates and in shake flasks containing a steel spring in contact with the glass. Fluorescence and confocal scanning laser microscopy revealed that the biofilm was composed of a dense network of hyphae, and biochemical analysis demonstrated that the matrix was predominantly polysaccharide. The medium composition was crucial for both biofilm formation and biotransformation of flurbiprofen. In shake flasks, the biofilm transformed 86% of the flurbiprofen added to hydroxylated metabolites within 24 h, which was slightly more than planktonic cultures (76%). The biofilm had a longer effective lifetime than the planktonic cells, which underwent lysis after 2×72 h cycles, and diluting the Sabouraud dextrose broth enabled the thickness of the biofilm to be controlled while retaining transformation efficiency. Thus, C. elegans biofilm has the potential to be applied as a robust biocatalyst for the production of human drug metabolites required for drug development.
      548Scopus© Citations 21
  • Publication
    Treatment of fluoroacetate by a Pseudomonas fluorescens biofilm grown in membrane aerated biofilm reactor
    Fluorinated organic compounds have widespread applications, and their accumulation in the environment is a concern. Biofilm reactors are an effective technology for the treatment of contaminated wastewater, yet almost no research has been conducted on the effectiveness of biofilms for the biodegradation of fluorinated aliphatic compounds. In this paper we describe experiments undertaken to investigate the degradation of fluoroacetate using a membrane aerated biofilm reactor (MABR) by Pseudomonas fluorescens DSM8341. The concentration of fluoroacetate in the medium influenced biofilm structure, with less dense biofilm observed at lower fluoroacetate loading rates. As biofilm thickness increased, oxygen utilization decreased, probably as a consequence of increased resistance to oxygen transfer. Furthermore, most of the biofilm was anaerobic, since oxygen penetration depth was less than 1000 μm. Biofilm performance, in terms of fluoroacetate removal efficiency, was improved by decreasing the fluoroacetate loading rate, however increasing the intramembrane oxygen pressure had little effect on biofilm performance. A mathematical model showed that while fluoroacetate does not penetrate the entire biofilm, the defluorination intermediate metabolite glycolate does, and consequently the biofilm was not carbon limited at the biofilm−membrane interface where oxygen concentrations were highest. The model also showed the accumulation of the free fluoride ion within the biofilm. Overflow metabolism of glycolate was identified to be most likely a result of a combination of oxygen limitation and free fluoride ion inhibition. The study demonstrated the potential of MABR for treating wastewater streams contaminated with organofluorine compounds.
      730Scopus© Citations 22
  • Publication
    Production of drug metabolites by immobilised Cunninghamella elegans: from screening to scale-up
    Cunninghamella elegans is a fungus that has been used extensively as a microbial model of mammalian drug metabolism, whilst its potential as a biocatalyst for the preparative production of human drug metabolites has been often proposed, little effort has been made to enable this. Here, we describe a workflow for the application of C. elegans for the production of drug metabolites, starting from well-plate screening assays leading to the preparative production of drug metabolites using fungus immobilised either in alginate or as a biofilm. Using 12- and 96-well plates, the simultaneous screening of several drug biotransformations was achieved. To scale up the biotransformation, both modes of immobilisation enabled semi-continuous production of hydroxylated drug metabolites through repeated addition of drug and rejuvenation of the fungus. It was possible to improve the productivity in the biofilm culture for the production of 4′-hydroxydiclofenac from 1 mg/l h to over 4 mg/l h by reducing the incubation time for biotransformation and the number of rejuvenation steps.
      441Scopus© Citations 18
  • Publication
    Comparison of biomass detachment from two different Pseudomonas spp. biofilms under constant shear conditions
    In the context of biofilm development, detachment is of practical importance when placed in a biofilm management perspective. The objective of the present study was to examine biofilm structure and biofilm detachment under controlled conditions for two distinct microorganisms grown under constant shear conditions. Detached biofilm biomass was regularly collected and analysed over the course of 72 h biofilm growth by Pseudomonas putida and Pseudomonas fluorescens cells, and biofilm structural development assessed using confocal microscopy. The two Pseudomonas spp., which had very similar specific growth rates in planktonic culture, presented notably different characteristics in terms of biofilm morphology but their detachment behaviours over time were very similar. These findings underline the intrinsic complexity of the detachment phenomenon.
      270Scopus© Citations 4
  • Publication
    Simultaneous removal of malachite green and hexavalent chromium by Cunninghamella elegans biofilm in a semi-continuous system
    The present study was conducted to evaluate the potential of the fungus Cunninghamella elegans for simultaneous decolourisation of a triphenylmethane dye malachite green (MG) and hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)] in the same media. This fungus can degrade MG through its reduction into leucomalachite green and then demethylation followed by oxidative cleavage. Along with MG degradation, C. elegans biofilm could effectively and repeatedly remove Cr(VI) from the liquid cultures even in the presence of high concentrations (40 g L−1) of NaCl and various other metal ions. C. elegans biofilm was also found to adsorb different dyes (reactive black-5, acid orange 7, direct red 81 and brilliant blue G) concurrently with Cr(VI). Based on its potential for simultaneous removal of dyes and Cr(VI) as well as reusability, C. elegans biofilm is envisaged as an efficient bioresource to devise strategies for treatment of wastewaters loaded with multiple pollutants.
      9Scopus© Citations 27
  • Publication
    Factors influencing 4-fluorobenzoate degradation in biofilm cultures of Pseudomonas knackmussii B13
    Membrane aerated biofilm reactors (MABRs) have potential in wastewater treatment as they permit simultaneous COD minimisation, nitrification and denitrification. Here we report on the application of the MABR to the removal of fluorinated xenobiotics from wastewater, employing a Pseudomonas knackmussii monoculture to degrade the model compound 4-fluorobenzoate. Growth of biofilm in the MABR using the fluorinated compound as the sole carbon source occurred in two distinct phases, with early rapid growth (up to 0.007 h−1) followed by ten-fold slower growth after 200 h operation. Furthermore, the specific 4-fluorobenzoate degradation rate decreased from 1.2 g g−1 h−1 to 0.2 g g−1 h−1, indicating a diminishing effectiveness of the biofilm as thickness increased. In planktonic cultures stoichiometric conversion of substrate to the fluoride ion was observed, however in the MABR, approximately 85% of the fluorine added was recovered as fluoride, suggesting accumulation of ‘fluorine’ in the biofilm might account for the decreasing efficiency. This was investigated by culturing the bacterium in a tubular biofilm reactor (TBR), revealing that there was significant fluoride accumulation within the biofilm (0.25 M), which might be responsible for inhibition of 4-fluorobenzoate degradation. This contention was supported by the observation of the inhibition of biofilm accumulation on glass cover slips in the presence of 40 mM fluoride. These experiments highlight the importance of fluoride ion accumulation on biofilm performance when applied to organofluorine remediation.
      975Scopus© Citations 31
  • Publication
    Comparison of planktonic and biofilm cultures of Pseudomonas fluorescens DSM 8341 cells grown on fluoroacetate
    (American Society for Microbiology, 2009-05) ; ;
    Comparisons between the physiological properties of Pseudomonas fluorescens biofilm cells grown in a tubular biofilm reactor and planktonic cells grown in a chemostat were performed. Fluoroacetate was the sole carbon source for all experiments. The performance of cells was assessed using cell cycle kinetics and by determining specific fluoroacetate utilization rates. Cell cycle kinetics were studied by flow cytometry in conjunction with the fluorescent stain propidium iodide. Determination of the DNA content of planktonic and biofilm cultures showed little difference between the two modes of growth. Cultures with comparable specific glycolate utilization rates had similar percentages of cells in the B phase of the cell cycle, indicating similar growth rates. Specific fluoroacetate utilization rates showed the performance of planktonic cells to be superior to that of biofilm cells, with more fluoroacetate utilized per cell at similar specific fluoroacetate loading rates. A consequence of this decreased biofilm performance was the accumulation of glycolate in the effluent of biofilm cultures. This accumulation of glycolate was not observed in the effluent of planktonic cultures. Spatial stratification of oxygen within the biofilm was identified as a possible explanation for the overflow metabolism of glycolate and the decreased performance of the biofilm cells.
      481Scopus© Citations 32