The effect of media on evaluating the phosphate uptake capacity of activated sludge bacterial isolates
Since the identification of Acinetobacter calcoaceticus as the primary agent responsible for biological phosphorus removal, much research has been conducted to either confirm or refute this claim. The majority of these studies was conducted under defined laboratory conditions using various artificial media; as a result, many conflicting reports exist regarding the role of A. calcoaceticus and other activated sludge isolates in their possible roles as true polyphosphate-accumulating bacteria.
... lating bacteria. This study was therefore conducted to determine the effect of media type on biological phosphate removal when performed in the laboratory under defined conditions. Five isolates were obtained from a full-scale biological nutrient removal activated sludge system and a previously identified A. calcoaceticus isolate was inoculated into three different media types. The inoculated media were subjected to anaerobic and aerobic conditions to stimulate the phosphate removal mechanism. The test micro-organisms released phosphate, under anaerobic conditions, in the three test media. Synthetic wastewater was found to promote the release of higher concentrations of phosphate by the micro-organisms than in the other two media. During the aerobic phase, phosphate uptake was highest in synthetic wastewater and settled sewage. Due to inconsistencies obtained in the readily biodegradable chemical oxygen demand, total chemical oxygen demand and soluble oxygen demand tests, it was concluded that the medium formulation may skew qualitative or quantitative data regarding biological phosphate removal. It can be concluded that the media used for P uptake studies are of importance as it was observed that the organisms' removal/uptake capabilities were enhanced or reduced depending on the media used.