Metabolic influence of lead on polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) production and phosphate uptake in activated sludge fed with glucose or acetic acid as carbon source

Bioresour Technol. 2011 Sep;102(17):8165-70. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2011.06.022. Epub 2011 Jun 12.


Sludge in a sequential batch reactor (SBR) system was used to investigate the effect of lead toxicity on metabolisms of polyphosphate accumulating organisms (PAOs) and glycogen accumulating organisms (GAOs) communities fed with acetic acid or glucose as their sole carbon source, respectively. Results showed that the effect of lead on substrate utilization of both PAOs and GAOs was insignificant. However, lead substantially inhibited both of phosphate release and uptake of PAOs. In high concentration of acetic acid trials, an abnormal aerobic phosphate release was observed instead of phosphate uptake and the release rate increased with increasing lead concentration. Results also showed that PAOs could normally synthesize polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) in the anaerobic phase even though lead concentration was 40 mg L(-1). However, they could not aerobically utilize PHB normally in the presence of lead. On the other hand, GAOs could not normally metabolize polyhydroxyvalerate (PHV) in both the anaerobic and aerobic phases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetic Acid / metabolism*
  • Carbon / metabolism*
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Lead / metabolism*
  • Polyhydroxyalkanoates / metabolism*
  • Sewage*


  • Polyhydroxyalkanoates
  • Sewage
  • Lead
  • Carbon
  • Glucose
  • Acetic Acid