The aim of this study is to better evaluate the occurrence of an acclimatization-enrichment period, defined as a selection period of consortia having the capability to biodegrade pollutants. In order to perform this evaluation, two experimental strategies were carried out and the results were studied carefully. Two laboratory-scale reactors were inoculated with activated sludge from an urban treatment plant. During the experiment, these reactors were supplied with a gaseous effluent containing VOCs. For both reactors, the composition is different. Three parameters were monitored to characterize the microflora: bacterial activities, bacterial densities, and the genetic structure of Bacteria and Eukarya domains (Single Strand Conformation Polymorphism fingerprint). The obtained results showed that the resultant biodegradation functions were equivalent. The bacterial community structure differs even if six co-migrated peaks were observed. These data suggest that the microbial communities in both reactors were altered differently in response to the treatment but developed a similar capacity to remove VOCs at the issue of this period. Furthermore, it is suggested that the experimental strategies developed in this work lead to an enrichment in terms of functionality and microbial diversity almost equivalent.

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