Bacterial biofilm-community selection during autohydrogenotrophic reduction of nitrate and perchlorate in ion-exchange brine

Chang Hoon Ahn, Hyangkyun Oh, Dongwon Ki, Steven W. Van Ginkel, Bruce E. Rittmann, Joonhong Park

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39 Citations (Scopus)


Three hydrogen-based membrane biofilm reactors (MBfR) biologically reduced nitrate and perchlorate in a synthetic ion-exchange (IX) brine. Inocula from different natural saline environments were employed to initiate the three MBfRs. Under high-salinity (3%) conditions, bioreduction of nitrate and perchlorate occurred simultaneously, and the three MBfRs from the different inocula exhibited similar removal fluxes for nitrate and perchlorate. Clone libraries were generated from samples of the biofilms in the three MBfRs and compared to those of their inocula. When H2 was the sole exogenous electron donor under high-salinity conditions, MBfR-driven community shifts were observed with a similar pattern regardless of inoculum. The following 16S rRNA gene phylogenetic analysis showed the presence of novel perchlorate-reducing bacteria in the salt-tolerant mBfR communities. These findings suggest that autohydrogenotrophic and high-salinity conditions provided strong selective pressure for novel perchlorate-reducing populations in the mBfRs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1169-1177
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Jan

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments This project was funded by the American Water Works Association Research Foundation and by the Basic Research Program of the Korea Science & Engineering Foundation (Grant No. R01-2006-000-10136-0). We would like to thank Mohammad Badruzzaman and Geno Lehman at Montgomery Watson Harza for their assistance. In addition, we would like to thank Professor Deborah Roberts at the University of British Columbia and Douglas Barnum at the Salton Sea Science Office for contributing the inocula.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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