Microbial Management

  • Do you have problems with contamination, hygiene, fouling, corrosion, process failure, … which might be due to microorganisms?
  • Do you have a contaminated site and do you want to know whether cost effective bacteria can degrade the pollutants?
  • Do you know that you should not think in terms of a single bacterium but in terms of “microbiomes”?

We help you identifying the causes and possible solutions!
We make a proposal for a molecular microbial analysis of the microbiome, tailor-made for your problem!

Microbiomes are organized mixed microbial cultures naturally occurring all over in biofilms, sludges, soils and sediments, fecal matter, etc. By molecular analyses, it can be seen which bacteria are present, how the bacteria are organized and which bacteria is doing what!

1. What can Avecom do for you?

  • Identification and quantification of specific bacteria and/or enzyme activities in the microbiome.
  • Examination of the distribution of the bacteria: areas of microbial growth, biofilm development, microbial influenced corrosion, etc.
  • A “fingerprint” of the microbiome gives a barcode of the microbial “team” as it exists. It can serve as a reference to compare microbiomes from different sites, monitoring rounds, environmental conditions, etc.
  • Optimizing aimed biological processes or total inhibition of unwanted processes.
  • Identification of process bottlenecks and selecting possible solutions.

2. How can such analyses be accomplished in a rapid and affordable way?
Different molecular techniques are currently available to acquire such information about the microbiome. Avecom prepares the samples (sludge, soil, process water, groundwater, etc..), contacts world class specialists in molecular biology, interpretes the results interpretation and selects the best strategy.

  • qPCR (quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction) - Enables both detection and quantification of specific microorganisms, microbiomes and functional genes.
  • DGGE (Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis) - Molecular technique that generates a “fingerprint” of an unknown microbiome and potentially identifies dominant microorganisms.

  • TRLFP (Terminal Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism) - Provides a fingerprint of the microbiome with greater sensitivity than DGGE and can be used for the identification of specific microbial groups.

  • Metagenomic profiling - In depth analysis for a problem related to a group of microorganisms.


3. Examples of molecular analyses/services provided by Avecom:

  • Dehalobacter/Dehalococcoides (General and functional genes tceA, bvcA and vcrA) - Responsible for the different anaerobic degradation steps of chlorinated ethenes and ethanes. The presence of these dechlorinating bacteria at a specific site gives an indication of the potential for bioremediation. Bioremediation, which implies degradation of the contaminants by bacteria, is known as a cost-efficient remediation technique for chlorinated compounds.
  • Evaluation of overall hygienic status: Total Bacteroidetes - Provide an indication of fecal contamination.
  • Iron-oxidizing bacteria - Responsible for oxidizing dissolved ferrous (II) iron resulting in the insoluble ferric oxides (indicator of MIC - Microbial Influenced Corrosion).
  • Methanogenic microorganisms - Active in biogas production in anaerobic digesters and in anaerobic aquifers. These microorganisms can also be related to corrosion problems.
  • Methanotrophic bacteria - Aerobic bacteria that oxidize methane as energy and carbon source. They can co-metabolize many aliphatic and aromatic compounds and have been intensively studied for the degradation of chlorinated solvents (especially trichloroethene).
  • Nitrifying/Denitrifying microorganisms - Key role in the nitrogen cycle.
  • Polaromonas JS 666 - Species capable of aerobic degradation of cis-dichloroethene in the presence of carbon and energy sources.
  • Sulfate-reducing bacteria - Using sulfate as the terminal electron acceptor. This group of bacteria can be responsible for the degradation of hydrocarbons (such as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene (BTEX)). Sulfate-reducing bacteria can also be involved in the bioprecipitation of heavy metals (such as cadmium, chromium, zinc, etc) and in corrosion.
  • ...

4. What are the advantages of monitoring/analyzing the microbiome?

  • Very useful tool for risk management in terms of overall hygiene of rooms, tools, products.
  • Analysing soil and groundwater microbes can give unequivocal and fast information about the in situ situation at a reasonable cost. These analyses help the client to select the best clean-up technique.
  • Allows the follow-up of the influence of different parameters/conditions (nutrients, pH, …) on the microbiome of activated sludges, anaerobic digesters, etc.


5. More information?
sales@avecom.be; +32 9 375 17 14


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