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Ureolytic activity and its regulation in Vibrio campbellii and Vibrio harveyi in relation to nitrogen recovery from human urine
Defoirdt, T.; Vlaeminck, S.E.; Sun, X.; Boon, N.; Clauwaert, P. (2017). Ureolytic activity and its regulation in Vibrio campbellii and Vibrio harveyi in relation to nitrogen recovery from human urine. Environ. Sci. Technol. 51(22): 13335-13343. https://hdl.handle.net/10.1021/acs.est.7b03829
In: Environmental Science and Technology. American Chemical Society: Easton. ISSN 0013-936X; e-ISSN 1520-5851, meer
Peer reviewed article  

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Auteurs  Top 
  • Defoirdt, T.
  • Vlaeminck, S.E.
  • Sun, X.
  • Boon, N.
  • Clauwaert, P.

Abstract
    Human urine contains a high concentration of nitrogen and is therefore an interesting source for nutrient recovery. Ureolysis is a key requirement in many processes aiming at nitrogen recovery from urine. Although ureolytic activity is widespread in terrestrial and aquatic environments, very little is known about the urease activity and regulation in specific bacteria other than human pathogens. Given the relatively high salt concentration of urine, marine bacteria would be particularly well suited for biotechnological applications involving nitrogen recovery from urine, and therefore, in this study, we investigated ureolytic activity and its regulation in marine vibrios. Thirteen out of 14 strains showed ureolytic activity. The urease activity was induced by urea, since complete and very rapid hydrolysis, up to 4 g L–1 h–1 of urea, was observed in synthetic human urine when the bacteria were pretreated with 10 g L–1 urea, whereas slow hydrolysis occurred when they were pretreated with 1 g L–1 urea (14–35% hydrolysis after 2 days). There was no correlation between biofilm formation and motility on one hand, and ureolysis on the other hand, and biofilm and motility inhibitors did not affect ureolysis. Together, our data demonstrate for the first time the potential of marine vibrios as fast urea hydrolyzers for biotechnological applications aiming at nutrient recovery from human urine.

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