Bioresource Technology, Vol.258, 220-226, 2018
Mitigation of membrane biofouling by a quorum quenching bacterium for membrane bioreactors
In this study, a quorum-quenching (QQ) bacterium named HEMM-1 was isolated at a membrane bioreactor (MBR) plant. HEMM-1 has diplococcal morphology and 99% sequence identity to Enterococcus species. The HEMM-1 cell-free supernatant (CFS) showed higher QQ activities than the CFS of other QQ bacteria, mostly by degrading N-acyl homoserine lactones (AHLs) with short acyl chains. Instrumental analyses revealed that HEMM-1 CFS degraded AHLs via lactonase activity. Under static, flow, and shear conditions, the HEMM-1 CFS was effective in reducing bacterial and activated-sludge biofilms formed on membrane surfaces. In conclusion, the HEMM-1 isolate is a QQ bacterium applicable to the control of biofouling in MBRs via inhibition of biofilm formation on membrane surfaces.