References of "Thonart, Philippe"
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See detailPhysiological and bio-functional properties of gum arabic: a notable interest for certain human diseases
Eloundou Mballa, Pierre; Goffin, Dorothée ULg; Destain, Jacqueline ULg et al

in Biotechnologie, Agronomie, Société et Environnement = Biotechnology, Agronomy, Society and Environment [=BASE] (in press)

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See detailThe Effect of Nutrients on the Degradation of Hydrocarbons in Mangrove Ecosystems by Microorganisms
Semboung Lang, Firmin ULg; Tarayre, Cédric ULg; Destain, Jacqueline ULg et al

in International Journal of Environmental Research (2016), 10(4), 583-592

Mangrove ecosystems are areas prone to various types of pollution, especially hydrocarbons. These hydrocarbons mostly stem from human activities such as spills coming from offshore oil operations, runoff ... [more ▼]

Mangrove ecosystems are areas prone to various types of pollution, especially hydrocarbons. These hydrocarbons mostly stem from human activities such as spills coming from offshore oil operations, runoff from surrounding urban areas or atmospheric deposition. This pollution causes the decline of mangroves, which results in an imbalance in the functioning of this particular ecosystem with damages to the microbiota. Biodegradation allows to restore these ecosystems. This biodegradation can only be effective in specific environmental conditions. The presence of nutrients, which stimulate bacterial growth and promote biodegradation, is a key parameter to be considered. During this experiment, we achieved biodegradation tests to assess the effect of nitrogen and phosphorus on the process. The results showed that the biodegradation rates were strongly bound to the presence of nutrients. The degradation rates depended on the medium. The treatment that reached the best rate of degradation of diesel after 10 days was the one using 20% of a nutrient solution (MSM) containing nitrogen and phosphorus. This treatment led to a maximal degradation of 84.7% ± 4.7% obtained in the flasks containing 20% of a nutrient solution (MSM) containing nitrogen and phosphorus. [less ▲]

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See detailBiodegradation of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Mangrove Sediments Under Different Strategies: Natural Attenuation, Biostimulation, and Bioaugmentation with Rhodococcus erythropolis T902.1
Semboung Lang, Firmin ULg; Destain, Jacqueline ULg; Delvigne, Frank ULg et al

in Water, Air & Soil Pollution (2016)

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are pollutants that occur in mangrove sediments. Their removal by bacteria often depends on specific characteristics as the number of benzene rings they possess and ... [more ▼]

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are pollutants that occur in mangrove sediments. Their removal by bacteria often depends on specific characteristics as the number of benzene rings they possess and their solubility. Their removal also depends on environmental factors, such as pH, temperature, oxygen, and the ability of the endogenous or exogenous microflora to metabolize hydrocarbons.With the aim of treating mangrove sediments polluted by hydrocarbons in a biological way, a biodegradation experiment was conducted using mangrove sediments artificially contaminated with a mixture of four PAHs. The study used Rhodococcus erythropolis as an exogenous bacterial strain in order to assess the biodegradation of the PAH mixture by natural attenuation, biostimulation, bioaugmentation, and a combination of biostimulation and bioaugmentation. The results showed that the last three treatments were more efficient than natural attenuation. The biostimulation/bioaugmentation combination proved to be the most effective PAH degradation treatment. [less ▲]

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See detailStable biofilms of Rhodococcus erythropolis T902.1 in draining pavement structures for runoff water decontamination
Masy, Thibaut ULg; Bertrand, Christelle ULg; Paul-Marie, Xavier et al

in International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation (2016), 112

Permeable Pavement Systems (PPS) are sustainable devices designed to collect, store and treat urban stormwater before its release into the ground. However, this system must sufficiently retain pollutants ... [more ▼]

Permeable Pavement Systems (PPS) are sustainable devices designed to collect, store and treat urban stormwater before its release into the ground. However, this system must sufficiently retain pollutants brought by water runoff in order to comply with the current legislation. This study aims at evaluating the implementation in PPS of a hydrocarbonoclastic bacterium, Rhodococcus erythropolis T902.1, in terms of resilience and improvement of the degrading capacity. First results revealed that this strain could durably colonize the different gravels used in the construction of PPS. A 15-month experience in a real parking area showed that this biofilm remained viable without any replenishment of nutrients or bacteria. During accelerated pollution tests at a pilot scale, the structure bioaugmented with pre-coated biofilms was more efficient than a non-inoculated structure to limit hydrocarbon leaching below 50 μg L−1 and to degrade hydrocarbons adsorbed to the gravels. Over the long term, this innovative assembly should maintain the degrading capacity of PPS and ensure an effective treatment of stormwater before its infiltration into the soil. [less ▲]

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See detailHydrocarbon biostimulation and bioaugmentation in organic carbon and clay-rich soils
Masy, Thibaut ULg; Demanèche, Sandrine; Tromme, Olivier et al

in Soil Biology & Biochemistry (2016), 99

Hydrocarbon-contaminated organic carbon-rich clayey soils are challenging for bioremediation stakeholders since the pollutant is heterogeneously distributed and poorly bioavailable due to its strong ... [more ▼]

Hydrocarbon-contaminated organic carbon-rich clayey soils are challenging for bioremediation stakeholders since the pollutant is heterogeneously distributed and poorly bioavailable due to its strong adsorption on clay and organic particles. In addition, biodegradation rates are restricted by limited diffusion of oxygen and nutrients to hydrocarbon-degrading aerobes. This study assessed the benefits of bioaugmentation with the strain Rhodococcus erythropolis T902.1 versus those from biostimulation and anaerobic natural attenuation in terms of hydrocarbon (HC) degradation efficiency and changes in the bacterial community structure in a diesel-polluted clay-rich soil. Three soil samples with a similar total organic content but with a different HC concentration (0.2, 1.0 and 6.5 g/kg) were compared in a microcosm experiment. Despite a limitation in oxygen transfer, R. erythropolis T902.1 enhanced a greater HC degradation compared to the biostimulation treatment. However, this advantage decreased with time as the proportion of Rhodococci declined from 25% initially to 1% of the global community after 80 days of treatment. Similarly, the alkB gene proportion in bioaugmented soils decreased to levels close to those of biostimulated soils. Consequently, further engineering was suggested to improve the resilience of the inoculum to ensure its long-term presence and activity in such polluted environments. [less ▲]

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See detailMaîtrise de la fermentation alcoolique sous stress éthanolique, thermique et osmotique de la souche Saccharomyces cerevisiae YSDN1 en vue de la préparation du vinaigre de fruits
Mounir, Majid ULg; Belgrire, Malika; Lahnaoui, Safaa et al

in Revue Marocaine des Sciences Agronomiques et Veterinaires (2016), 4(2), 86-95

La présente étude a pour but d’isoler, d’identifier et de caractériser de nouvelles souches de levures d’intérêt industriel. Un total de 54 levures ont été isolées et identifiées à partir de produits ... [more ▼]

La présente étude a pour but d’isoler, d’identifier et de caractériser de nouvelles souches de levures d’intérêt industriel. Un total de 54 levures ont été isolées et identifiées à partir de produits agricoles brutes et de sous-produits de l’industrie agro-alimentaire. Parmi ces isolats, quatre souches ont été retenues, purifiées et testées pour leur performance de fermentation sur un jus de dattes de variété Bouslikhène. D’après le séquençage du gène 18S de l’ADN ribosomal, les deux souches YS-DN1 et YS-M isolées respectivement à partir des dattes et de la mélasse ont été identifiées appartenant à l’espèce Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Par ailleurs, les deux autres souches YS-OPM et YS-G isolées des olives et des raisins appartiennent respectivement aux espèces Kluyveromyces marxianus, avec 78% d’homologie et Candida utilis à 89% d’homologie. D’autre part, la souche YS-DN1, s’est identifiée comme la plus performante dans la production d’éthanol en comparaison à deux autres souches industrielles de référence. La levure YS-DN1 était l’unique souche capable de croitre à une température entre 35 et 40°C en présence d’un taux alcoolique élevé et une pression osmotique agressive. Finalement, la production de la biomasse cellulaire de la souche YS -DN1 a été améliorée par optimisation des facteurs température, Brix et pH fixés respectivement à 29.75°C, 15.7% et 4.15. Ces valeurs ont permis d’obtenir un maximum de cellules de l’ordre de 8.4x108 UFC/ml. Il a été conclu que cette souche pourrait bien s’adapter à des usages industriels pour la production du vinaigre de fruits à grande échelle. [less ▲]

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See detailOptimization of biomass production of Acetobacter pasteurianus KU710511 as a potential starter for fruit vinegar production
Mounir, Majid ULg; Shafiei, Rasoul; Zarmehrkhorshid, Raziyeh ULg et al

in African Journal of Biotechnology (2016), 15(27), 1429-1441

The objective of the present work was first the isolation of novel acetic acid bacteria strains from natural Moroccan habitats, and then, the evaluation of their ability to produce microbial starters for ... [more ▼]

The objective of the present work was first the isolation of novel acetic acid bacteria strains from natural Moroccan habitats, and then, the evaluation of their ability to produce microbial starters for vinegar production on a large scale. The strains were isolated from figs, dates, cactus, and traditional fruit vinegars. Four strains, selected from a total of 63 isolates, were confirmed as belonging to Acetobacter species according to biochemical and molecular studies based on 16s rRNA sequence analysis. Acetous fermentation tests, performed on date and apple fermented juices using selected Acetobacter strains, showed a high capacity of acidification. The most efficient strain KU710511, isolated from Morrocan cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica), was identified as Acetobacter strain closely related to A. pasteurianus and yielded 42.5 g/L acidity in apple juice. Cell growth optimization was carried out for KU710511 using response surface methodology (RSM). The linear, quadratic, and interaction effects of four factors—ethanol, acetic acid, glucose concentrations and pH—were studied by the application of a central composite design. Thirty experiments were designed to predict the maximum concentration of cell biomass. The optimal calculated values of ethanol, acetic acid, glucose and pH allowing the prediction of the maximum biomass production (2.21 g/L) were 28.18 g/L, 10.12 g/L, 15.15 g/L and 5.33, respectively. Subsequently, further batch fermentations were carried out in a 6-L lab-bioreactor at optimal and thermal stress conditions. The results were in line with the predicted values. It can be concluded that the studied strain is well suited to be used as a parental strain to prepare a starter for fruit vinegar production. [less ▲]

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See detailEnhanced biomass production of a novel Acetobacter strain isolated from Moroccan biotopes using response surface methodology approach
Mounir, Majid ULg; Hamas, Khadija; Tamraoui, Khadija et al

Conference (2016, March 21)

The objective of this work was first the isolation of novel acetic acid bacteria strains from natural Moroccan habitats, and then, the evaluation of their ability to produce microbial starters for vinegar ... [more ▼]

The objective of this work was first the isolation of novel acetic acid bacteria strains from natural Moroccan habitats, and then, the evaluation of their ability to produce microbial starters for vinegar production in large-scale. The isolation was made from figs, dates, cactus, and traditional fruit vinegars. Four strains, selected from a total of 63 isolates were confirmed to be belonged to Acetobacter species according to biochemical tests and molecular study based on 16s rDNA sequence analysis. Acetic acid fermentation tests, performed on date and apple fermented juices by the selected Acetobacter strains, showed high capacity of acidification. The most efficient strain, isolated from cactus vinegar, yielded an acidity of about 42.5 g/L on apple juice. A cell growth optimization was carried out on the most efficient strain using the response surface methodology (RSM). The linear, quadratic and interaction effects of four factors; ethanol, acetic acid, glucose and pH were studied by the application of a central composite design. 30 experiments were designed to predict the maximum concentration of cell biomass. The optimal calculated values of ethanol, acetic acid, glucose and pH allowing the prediction of the maximum biomass production (2.2 g/L) were 28.18 g/L, 10.12 g/L, 15.15 g/L and 5.33, respectively. Subsequently, further batch fermentations were carried out in a 6 L lab-bioreactor using the optimased culture medium. The results were in line with the predict values. It was concluded that the studied strain is well suited to be used as parental strain to prepare a starter for vinegar fruit production. [less ▲]

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See detailLeachate and leonardite Humic substances effect on in vitro root initiation and elongation of woody species
Tahiri, Abdelghani ULg; Destain, Jacqueline ULg; Thonart, Philippe ULg et al

Poster (2016, February 05)

Arise from the chemical and biological degradation of plant and animal residues and from the synthetic activities of microorganisms in the soil, humic substances (HS) are natural heterogeneous aromatic ... [more ▼]

Arise from the chemical and biological degradation of plant and animal residues and from the synthetic activities of microorganisms in the soil, humic substances (HS) are natural heterogeneous aromatic and organic compounds. These substances are chemically complex with no clearly defined chemical structure, although generalized models have been proposed. Present everywhere in the nature; they take part in basic functionalities in any ecosystems involving soils, sediments, water and landfills. They have long been recognized as plant growth promoting substances, particularly with regard to influencing nutrient uptake, root growth and architecture. They influence plant productivity directly by the stimulation of biochemical and metabolic processes or indirectly through the modification of soil characteristics and microflora activities. All together, these properties mainly affect root architecture by inducing root hairs proliferation, differentiating root cells and enhancing lateral root emergence. Experiments targeting the rooting stages in absence of interferences were conducted in vitro using HS extracted from landfill leachate and a stable commercial formulation (“Humifirst” from TRADECORP company: 12% humic acid and fulvic acid 3%) issued from leonardite. Shoots and leaves explants of silver birch (Betula pendula Roth) and black alder (Alnus glutinosa L. Gaertn) explants were treated with 10 ppm of leachate and leonardite HS for 5 days during the rooting induction/initiation phase or during rooting elongation phase. The results obtained show that treatment with a low concentration (10 ppm) during induction/initiation phase may be slightly unfavorable to the formation of roots in alder but not in birch. While, in root elongation phase, there is an increase in the number of roots per shoot only in birch. The direct effects of leachate and leonardite HS on root development vary from one species to another. [less ▲]

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See detailComparison of explant responses treated with leachate and leonardite sources of humic substances during in vitro rooting of woody plants.
Tahiri, Abdelghani ULg; Destain, Jacqueline ULg; Thonart, Philippe ULg et al

in Communications in Agricultural and Applied Biological Sciences (2016), 81(1), 158-165

As heterogeneous mixtures of compounds resulting from the physical, chemical and microbiological transformations of organic residues, humic substances (HS) are mostly recognized for their biostimulation ... [more ▼]

As heterogeneous mixtures of compounds resulting from the physical, chemical and microbiological transformations of organic residues, humic substances (HS) are mostly recognized for their biostimulation of plant growth that firstly involve the root development and architecture before further putative improvement of nutrients uptakes. To avoid the interferences currently reported from external origins, the successive steps of rooting have been carried out using shoots and isolated leaves of birch and alder vitro-plants. Extracts issued from landfill leachate (LHS) has been compared to a stable formulation from leonardite ("Humifirst" 12% humic acid 3% and fulvic acid) commercialized by TRADECORP company's (HHS). Chemical analysis showed that LHS source typically contain much higher N (mainly as ammonium (93%) and chloride concentration than HHS. Used at low concentration (10 ppm) during root induction/initiation phase, both HS sources may be slightly unfavorable to the root formation (21% of reduction in primary root number) of alder but not of birch. While, in root elongation phase, there is an increase in the primary root length and lateral root number. The direct effects of HS on in vitro root development vary from one species to another depending on the root treatment stage. Results showed that both explants type response are equivalent in the development of a complete rooting system. [less ▲]

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See detailSimultaneous production of acetic and gluconic acids by a thermotolerant Acetobacter strain during acetous fermentation in a bioreactor
Mounir, Majid ULg; shafiei, rasoul; Zarmehrkhorshid, Raziyeh et al

in Journal of Bioscience & Bioengineering (2016), 121(2), 166-171

The activity of bacterial strains significantly influences the quality and the taste of vinegar. Previous studies of acetic acid bacteria have primarily focused on the ability of bacterial strains to ... [more ▼]

The activity of bacterial strains significantly influences the quality and the taste of vinegar. Previous studies of acetic acid bacteria have primarily focused on the ability of bacterial strains to produce high amounts of acetic acid. However, few studies have examined the production of gluconic acid during acetous fermentation at high temperatures. The production of vinegar at high temperatures by two strains of acetic acid bacteria isolated from apple and cactus fruits, namely AF01 and CV01, respectively, was evaluated in this study. The simultaneous production of gluconic and acetic acids was also examined in this study. Biochemical and molecular identification based on a 16s rDNA sequence analysis confirmed that these strains can be classified as Acetobacter pasteurianus. To assess the ability of the isolated strains to grow and produce acetic acid and gluconic acid at high temperatures, a semi-continuous fermentation was performed in a 20-L bioreactor. The two strains abundantly grew at a high temperature (41°C). At the end of the fermentation, the AF01 and CV01 strains yielded acetic acid concentrations of 7.64% (w/v) and 10.08% (w/v), respectively. Interestingly, CV01 was able to simultaneously produce acetic and gluconic acids during acetic fermentation, whereas AF01 mainly produced acetic acid. In addition, CV01 was less sensitive to ethanol depletion during semi-continuous fermentation. Finally, the enzymatic study showed that the two strains exhibited high ADH and ALDH enzyme activity at 38°C compared with the mesophilic reference strain LMG 1632, which was significantly susceptible to thermal inactivation. [less ▲]

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See detailCharacterization and Evaluation of the Potential of a Diesel-Degrading Bacterial Consortium Isolated from Fresh Mangrove Sediment
Semboung Lang, Firmin ULg; Destain, Jacqueline ULg; Delvigne, Frank ULg et al

in Water, Air & Soil Pollution (2016)

Hydrocarbons are ubiquitous and persistent organic pollutants in the environment. In wetlands and marine environments, particularly in mangrove ecosystems, their increase and significant accumulation ... [more ▼]

Hydrocarbons are ubiquitous and persistent organic pollutants in the environment. In wetlands and marine environments, particularly in mangrove ecosystems, their increase and significant accumulation result from human activities such as oil and gas exploration and exploitation operations. Remediation of these ecosystems requires the development of adequate and effective strategies. Natural attenuation, biostimulation, and bioaugmentation are all biological soil treatment techniques that can be adapted to mangroves. Our experiments were performed on samples of fresh mangrove sediments from the Cameroon estuary and mainly from the Wouri River in Cameroon. This study aims to assess the degradation potential of a bacterial consortium isolated from mangrove sediment. The principle of our bioremediation experiments is based on a series of tests designed to evaluate the potential of an active indigenous microflora and three exogenous pure strains, to degrade diesel with/without adding nutrients. The experiments were conducted in laboratory flasks and a greenhouse in microcosms. In one case, as in the other, the endogenous microflora showed that it was able to degrade diesel. Under stress of the pollutant, the endogenous microflora fits well enough in the middle to enable metabolism of the pollutant. However, the Rhodococcus strain was more effective over time. The degradation rate was 77 and 90%in the vials containing the sterile sediments and non-sterile sediments, respectively. The results are comparable with those obtained in the microcosms in a greenhouse where only the endogenous microflora were used. The results of this study show that mangrove sediment contains an active microflora that can metabolize diesel. Indigenous and active microflora show an interesting potential for diesel degradation. [less ▲]

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See detailComprehensive comparison of the chemical and structural characterization of landfill leachate and leonardite humic fractions
Tahiri, Abdelghani ULg; Richel, Aurore ULg; Destain, Jacqueline ULg et al

in Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry (2016), 408(7), 1917-1928

Humic substances (HS) are complex and heterogeneous mixtures of organic compounds that occur everywhere in the environment. They represent most of the dissolved organic matter in soils, sediments (fossil ... [more ▼]

Humic substances (HS) are complex and heterogeneous mixtures of organic compounds that occur everywhere in the environment. They represent most of the dissolved organic matter in soils, sediments (fossil), water, and landfills. The exact structure of HS macromolecules has not yet been determined because of their complexity and heterogeneity. Various descriptions of HS are used depending on specific environments of origin and research interests. In order to improve the understanding of the structure of HS extracted from landfill leachate (LHS) and commercial HS from leonardite (HHS), this study sought to compare the composition and characterization of the structure of LHS and HHS using elemental composition, chromatographic (high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)), and spectroscopic techniques (UV–vis, FTIR, NMR, and MALDI-TOF). The results showed that LHS molecules have a lower molecular weight and less aromatic structure than HHS molecules. The characteristics of functional groups of both LHS and HHS, however, were basically similar, but there was some differences in absorbance intensity. There were also less aliphatic and acidic functional groups and more aromatic and polyphenolic compounds in the humic acid (HA) fraction than in the fulvic acid (FA) and other molecules (OM) fractions of both origins. The differences between LHS and HHS might be due to the time course of humification. Combining the results obtained from these analytical techniques cold improve our understanding of the structure of HS of different origins and thus enhance their potential use. [less ▲]

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See detailElectrical resistivity tomography to monitor enhanced biodegradation of hydrocarbons with Rhodococcus erythropolis T902.1 at a pilot scale
Masy, Thibaut ULg; Caterina, David; Tromme, Oliver et al

in Journal of Contaminant Hydrology (2016), 184

Petroleum hydrocarbons (HC) represent the most widespread contaminants and in-situ bioremediation remains a competitive treatment in terms of cost and environmental concerns. However, the efficiency of ... [more ▼]

Petroleum hydrocarbons (HC) represent the most widespread contaminants and in-situ bioremediation remains a competitive treatment in terms of cost and environmental concerns. However, the efficiency of such a technique (by biostimulation or bioaugmentation) strongly depends on the environment affected and is still difficult to predict a priori. In order to overcome these uncertainties, Electrical Resistivity Tomography (ERT) appears as a valuable non-invasive tool to detect soil heterogeneities and to monitor biodegradation. The main objective of this study was to isolate an electrical signal linked to an enhanced bacterial activity with ERT, in an aged HC-contaminated clayey loam soil. To achieve this, a pilot tank was built to mimic field conditions. Compared to a first insufficient biostimulation phase, bioaugmentation with Rhodococcus erythropolis T902.1 led to a HC depletion of almost 80% (6900 to 1600 ppm) in 3 months in the center of the contaminated zone, where pollutants were less bioavailable. In the meantime, lithological heterogeneities and microbial activities (growth and biosurfactant production) were successively discriminated by ERT images. In the future, this cost-effective technique should be more and more transferred to the field in order to monitor biodegradation processes and assist in selecting the most appropriate remediation technique. [less ▲]

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See detailFlow cytometry community fingerprinting and amplicon sequencing for the assessment of landfill leachate cellulolytic bioaugmentation
Kinet, Romain ULg; Dzaomuho, Phidias; Baert, Jonathan ULg et al

in Bioresource Technology (2016)

Flow cytometry (FCM) is a high throughput single cell technology that is actually becoming widely used for studying phenotypic and genotypic diversity among microbial communities. This technology is ... [more ▼]

Flow cytometry (FCM) is a high throughput single cell technology that is actually becoming widely used for studying phenotypic and genotypic diversity among microbial communities. This technology is considered in this work for the assessment of a bioaugmentation treatment in order to enhance cellulolytic potential of landfill leachate. The experimental results reveal the relevant increase of leachate cellulolytic potential due to bioaugmentation. Cytometric monitoring of microbial dynamics along these assays is then realized. The Flow FP package is used to establish microbial samples fingerprint from initial 2D cytometry histograms. This procedure allows highlighting microbial communities' variation along the assays. Cytometric and 16S rRNA gene sequencing fingerprinting methods are then compared. The two approaches give same evidence about microbial dynamics throughout digestion assay. There are however a lack of significant correlation between cytometric and amplicon sequencing fingerprint at genus or species level. Same phenotypical profiles of microbiota during assays matched to several 16S rRNA gene sequencing ones. Flow cytometry fingerprinting can thus be considered as a promising routine on-site method suitable for the detection of stability/variation/disturbance of complex microbial communities involved in bioprocesses. [less ▲]

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See detailBacteria may contribute to distant species recognition in ant–aphid mutualistic relationships
Fischer, Christophe ULg; Detrain, Claire; Thonart, Philippe ULg et al

in Insect Science (2016)

Mutualistic interactions between ant and aphid species have been the subject of considerable historical and contemporary investigations, the primary benefits being cleaning and protection for the aphids ... [more ▼]

Mutualistic interactions between ant and aphid species have been the subject of considerable historical and contemporary investigations, the primary benefits being cleaning and protection for the aphids and carbohydrate-rich honeydew for the ants. Questions remained, however, as to the volatile semiochemical factor influencing this relationship. A recent study highlighted the role of bacterial honeydew volatile compounds in ant attraction. Here, ant’s ability to distantly discriminate two aphid species was investigated based on bacterial honeydew semiochemicals emissions using a two-way olfactometer. Both the mutualistic black bean aphid (Aphis fabae L.) and the non-myrmecophilous pea aphid (Acyrthosiphon pisum Harris) were found to be attractive for the black garden ant (Lasius niger L.). The level of attraction was similar in both assays (control versus one of the aphid species). However, when given a choice between these two aphid species, ants showed a significant preference for Aphis fabae. Honeydew volatiles, mostly from bacterial origins, are known to be a key element in ant attraction. Using the same olfactometry protocol, the relative attractiveness of volatiles emitted by honeydews collected from each aphid species and by bacteria isolated from each honeydew was in investigated. Again, ants significantly preferred volatiles released by Aphis fabae honeydew and bacteria. This information suggests that microbial honeydew volatiles enable ants to distantly discriminate aphid species. These results emphasize the importance of investigating the presence and potential effects of microbes in insect symbioses. [less ▲]

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