AbstractWe present a system for carrying out small batch reactor microbial metabolism experiments on water and sediment samples for environmental questions. In general, it provides several advantages that can help researchers achieve impactful experiments at relatively low costs and high data quality. In particular, it allows for multiple reactors to be operated and their oxygen concentrations to be measured simultaneously, providing high throughput and high time-resolution data, which can be advantageous. Most existing literature on similar small batch-reactor metabolic studies is limited to either only a few samples, or only a few time points per sample, which can restrict the ability for researchers to learn from their experiments. The oxygen sensing system is based very directly on the work of Larsen, et al. , and similar oxygen sensing technology is widely used in the literature. As such we do not delve deeply into the specifics of the fluorescent dye sensing mechanism. Instead, we focus on practical considerations. We describe the construction and operation of the calibration and experimental systems, and answer many of the questions likely to come up when other researchers choose to build and operate a similar system themselves (questions we ourselves had when we first built the system). In this way, we hope to provide an approachable and easy to use research article that can help other researchers construct and operate a similar system that can be tailored to ask their own research questions, with a minimum of confusion and missteps along the way.
Published: September 16, 2023