ABSTRACT A phenol-degrading microorganism, Rhodococcus sp.RSP8, was used to study the substrate interactions during cell growth on phenol and p-chlorophenol dual substrates. Both phenol and p-chlorophenol could be utilized by the bacteria as the sole carbon and energy sources. When cells grew on the mixture of phenol and p-chlorophenol, strong substrate interactions were observed. The p-chlorophenol inhibited the degradation of phenol, on the other hand, phenol also inhibited the utilization of p-chlorophenol. The overall cell growth rate depends on the co-actions of phenol and p-chlorophenol. In addition, the cell growth and substrate degradation kinetics of phenol, p-chlorophenol as single and mixed substrates for Rhodococcus sp.RSP8 in batch cultures were also investigated over a wide range of initial phenol concentrations (5-1600 mg.L–1) and initial p-chlorophenol concentrations (5 – 250 mg.L–1). The single-substrate kinetics was described well using the Haldane-type kinetic models, with model constants of µm1 = 0.15 h–1, KS1 = 2.22 mg.L–1 and Ki1 = 245.37 mg.L–1 for cell growth on phenol and of µm2 = 0.0782 h–1, KS2 = 1.30 mg.L–1 and Ki2 = 71.77 mg.L–1, K′i2 = 5480 (mg.L–1)2 for cell growth on p-chlorophenol. Proposed cell growth kinetic model was used to characterize the substrates interactions in the dual substrates system.
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