- Management of Microbial Communities through Transient Disturbances Enhances the Functional Resilience of Nitrifying Gas-Biofilters to Future Disturbances doi link

Auteur(s): Cabrol L., Poly Franck, Malhautier Luc, Pommier Thomas, Lerondelle Catherine, Verstraete Willy, Lepeuple Anne-Sophie, Fanlo Jean-Louis, Le Roux Xavier

(Article) Publié: Environmental Science And Technology, vol. 50 p.338-48 (2016)

Ref HAL: hal-01426896_v1
DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.5b02740
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Microbial communities have a key role for the performance of engineered ecosystems such as waste gas biofilters. Maintaining constant performance despite fluctuating environmental conditions is of prime interest, but it is highly challenging because the mechanisms that drive the response of microbial communities to disturbances still have to be disentangled. Here we demonstrate that the bioprocess performance and stability can be improved and reinforced in the face of disturbances, through a rationally predefined strategy of microbial resource management (MRM). This strategy was experimentally validated in replicated pilot-scale nitrifying gas-biofilters, for the two steps of nitrification. The associated biological mechanisms were unraveled through analysis of functions, abundances and community compositions for the major actors of nitrification in these biofilters, that is, ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and Nitrobacter-like nitrite-oxidizers (NOB). Our MRM strategy, based on the application of successive, transient perturbations of increasing intensity, enabled to steer the nitrifier community in a favorable way through the selection of more resistant AOB and NOB sharing functional gene sequences close to those of, respectively, Nitrosomonas eutropha and Nitrobacter hamburgensis that are well adapted to high N load. The induced community shifts resulted in significant enhancement of nitrification resilience capacity following the intense perturbation.