Long-tem analysis of diesel fuel consumption in a co-culture of Acinetobacter venetianus, Pseudomonas putida and Alcaligenes faecalis

Milva Pepi, Andrea Minacci, Francescopaolo Di Cello, Franco Baldi, Renato Fani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The dynamics of a microbial population isolated from superficial waters of Venice Lagoon and the ability to utilise diesel fuel (n-alkanes mixture C12-C28) as the sole carbon and energy source were studied in a long-term reconstruction experiment. The reconstructed microbial population consisted of three bacterial strains belonging to the species Acinetobacter venetianus, Pseudomonas putida, and Alcaligenes faecalis, which were able to oxidise n-alkanes to alkanoates, n-alkanols to alkanoates, or only n-alkanoates, respectively. Three different approaches: plate counting, cell counting by epifluorescence microscopy with DAPI staining, and by fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH) by using a probe conjugate with fluoresceine isothiocyanate specifically targeted towards the 16S rRNA of bacteria belonging to the genus Acinetobacter were used to monitor the growth of the bacterial population. The growth of A. venetianus was stimulated by the presence of other strains, suggesting a beneficial interaction. After the first week of growth A. venetianus cells formed aggregates, as confirmed by confocal microscopy (CLSM), which allowed them to be distinguished from free cells. A relationship between cell number and measured areas (μm2) per aggregate was found. Each cell presented an average surface of 1.21 μm2. Each aggregate was formed by a cellular monolayer biofilm consisting of up to several thousands of cells. The A. venetianus aggregates increased in number and size over time, but after two weeks fragmentation events, which had a beneficial effect on the growth of P. putida and A. faecalis, occurred.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-9
Number of pages7
JournalAntonie van Leeuwenhoek, International Journal of General and Molecular Microbiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2003


  • Biofilm
  • Cell-aggregates
  • Cell-free
  • Hydrocarbons
  • Mixed cultures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Long-tem analysis of diesel fuel consumption in a co-culture of Acinetobacter venetianus, Pseudomonas putida and Alcaligenes faecalis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this