Optimized Methods for Stabilization of Microbial Communities Specializing in Biodegradation of Organic Environmental Contaminants
J. Augustynowicz1, P. Kaszycki1, M. Kuś1, A. Białecka2, H. Kołoczek1
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1 Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Horticulture, University of Agriculture, Al. 29 Listopada 54; 31-425 Kraków, Poland
2 The Dr. Jan Bóbr Centre of Microbiological Research and Autovaccines, Sławkowska 17, 31-016 Kraków, Poland
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2008;17(5):655–664
The aim of this study was to optimize storage conditions of a microbial community used for degradation of petroleum-derived environmental contaminants. Microorganisms were either freeze-dried or directly frozen (-20°C) in the presence of four stabilizers: trehalose, sucrose, glycerol and DMSO. It was found that preincubation with trehalose and sucrose had a positive impact on cell viability for both tested storage techniques. Disaccharide-stabilized consortia were more biodiverse than control samples (untreated with any protectants) and they retained high xenobiotic biodegradation capabilities. The effect of glycerol and DMSO was unexpectedly poor, contradicting other findings on the protective action of these compounds on monocultures. Higher cell survival was achieved only upon short-term (7 days) freezing, whereas DMSO proved to be lethal in the case of freeze-dried communities. Taking into account practical and economic reasons, the use of sucrose rather than the more expensive trehalose appears as the most efficient method for microbial consortia biostabilization during long-term storage. The experimental work provides some important data concerning the problem of elaboration of improved methods for preserving robust microbial communities to be used in environmental biotechnology practice.