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Assessment of Microbial Fatty Acid Analysis for Quantifying Mixed Culture Biomass During Batch Growth

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This paper considers microbial fatty acid (MFA) as a parameter for monitoring kinetics of changing biomass levels in dynamic environmental systems. Although there is no question that MFA and biomass levels are directly linked, the research literature suggests that the proportionality constant is variable. Thus, controlled batch cultivation experiments were performed to test the hypothesis that total MFA (TMFA) is a consistent biomass representation. The hypothesis was tested with measurement comparisons to the more conventional biomass parameters of dry weight and protein production. Experimental results supported the validity of TMFA analysis as a measurement method for assessing biomass growth kinetics under dynamic mixed culture conditions. Although MFA composition did change over the course of batch cultivation, TMFA remained directly proportional to biomass dry weight and protein production. In a comparison of absolute TMFA levels derived from two distinct protocols of MFA extraction, significant differences in the TMFA yield were observed. Therefore, MFA data need to be clearly referenced to the applied method of analysis.
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Keywords: BIOMASS MEASUREMENT; DRY WEIGHT; FATTY ACID EXTRACTION; GROWTH KINETICS; MICROBIAL FATTY ACIDS; OPTICAL DENSITY; PHOSPHOLIPIDS; PROTEIN

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2000-07-01

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  • Water Environment Research (WER) is published monthly, including an annual Literature Review. A subscription to WER includes access to the latest content back to 1992, as well as access to fast track articles. An individual subscription is valid for 12 months from month of purchase.

    Water Environment Research (WER) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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