Pure cultures of Pseudomonas putida (ATCC 17484) were grown in continuous culture on phenol at dilution rates of 0.074-0.085 h(-1) and subjected to step increases in phenol feed concentration. Three distinct patterns of dynamic response were obtained depending on the size of the step change used: low level, moderate level, or high level. During low level responses no accumulations of phenol or non-phenol, non-glucose-dissolved organic carbon, DOC(NGP), were observed. Moderate level responses were characterized by the transient accumulation of DOC(NGP) with a significant delay prior to phenol leakage. High level responses demonstrated a rapid onset of phenol leakage and no apparent accumulations of DOC(NGP). The addition of phenol to a continuous culture of the same organism on glucose did not result in transient DOC(NGP) accumulations, although transient phenol levels exceeded 90 mg l(-1). These results were consistent with intermediate metabolite production during phenol step tests coupled with substrate-inhibited phenol uptake and suggested that traditional kinetic models based on the Haldane equation may be inadequate for describing the dynamics of phenol degrading systems.
(c) 1993 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.