Ecophysiology of uncultured filamentous anaerobes belonging to the phylum KSB3 that cause bulking in methanogenic granular sludge

Takeshi Yamada, Kae Kikuchi, Toshihiro Yamauchi, Koji Shiraishi, Tsukasa Ito, Satoshi Okabe, Akira Hiraishi, Akiyoshi Ohashi, Hideki Harada, Yoichi Kamagata, Kazunori Nakamura, Yuji Sekiguchi

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12 Citations (Scopus)


A filamentous bulking of a methanogenic granular sludge caused by uncultured filamentous bacteria of the candidate phylum KSB3 in an upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) system has been reported. To characterize the physiological traits of the filaments, a polyphasic approach consisting of rRNA-based activity monitoring of the KSB3 filaments using the RNase H method and substrate uptake profiling using microautoradiography combined with fluorescence in situ hybridization (MAR-FISH) was conducted. On the basis of rRNA-based activity, the monitoring of a full-scale UASB reactor operated continuously revealed that KSB3 cells became active and predominant (up to 54% of the total 16S rRNA) in the sludge when the carbohydrate loading to the system increased. Batch experiments with a short incubation of the sludge with maltose, glucose, fructose, and maltotriose at relatively low concentrations (approximately 0.1 mM) in the presence of yeast extract also showed an increase in KSB3 rRNA levels under anaerobic conditions. MAR-FISH confirmed that the KSB3 cells took up radioisotopic carbons from [14C]maltose and [14C]glucose under the same incubation conditions in the batch experiments. These results suggest that one of the important ecophysiological characteristics of KSB3 cells in the sludge is carbohydrate degradation in wastewater and that high carbohydrate loadings may trigger an outbreak of KSB3 bacteria, causing sludge bulking in UASB systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2081-2087
Number of pages7
JournalApplied and environmental microbiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Mar
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Ecology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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