Enhancement of nitrifying biofilm formation using selected EPS produced by heterotrophic bacteria

S. Tsuneda*, S. Park, H. Hayashi, J. Jung, A. Hirata

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Citations (Scopus)


The possibility of enhancing nitrifying biofilm formation rate with the aid of selected EPS produced by heterotrophic bacteria was investigated. When EPS production characteristics were examined for four kinds of heterotrophs isolated from a domestic wastewater treatment reactor, two strains obtained from biofilms (B1, B2) exhibited a higher polysaccharide production rate than those from suspended flocs (A1, A2). Among EPS components, the concentration of uronic acids gave a good correlation with flocculation ability, which suggests that acidic polysaccharides play a major role in bioaggregate formation. Addition of 1 g/L D-glucuronic acid as an EPS substitute enhanced the homocoagulation rate of autotrophic Nitrosomonas europaea and altered its zeta potential from ñ30.4mV to +4.3mV, which indicates a possibility that particular EPS components produced by heterotrophs are utilized as neutralising reagents for nitriying biofilm formation. Moreover, when heterotrophic isolates with Nitrobacter winogradskyi were cultured in batch with fabric supports, biofilm formed on the substratum. These exprimental results suggest the application of selected EPS for enhancing nitrifying biofilm formation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-204
Number of pages8
JournalWater Science and Technology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Biofilm formation
  • Carbohydrate
  • EPS
  • Extracellular polymeric substances
  • Heterophic bacteria
  • Nitrifying bacteria
  • Uronic acids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology


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