This paper proposes a new metabolic model for acetate uptake by a mixed culture of phosphate- and glycogen-accumulating organisms (PAOs and GAOs) under anaerobic conditions. The model uses variable overall stoichiometry based on the assumption that PAOs may have the ability of using the glyoxylate pathway to produce the required reducing power for polyhydroxyalkonate (PHA) synthesis. The proposed model was tested and verified by experimental results. A sequencing batch reactor system was operated for enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) with acetate as the sole carbon source at different influent acetate/phosphate ratios. The resulting experimental data supported the validity of the proposed model, indicating the presence of GAOs for all tested HAc/P ratios, especially under P-limiting conditions. Strong agreement is observed between experimental values and model predictions for all model components, namely, PHB production, PHA composition, glycogen utilization, and P release. (C) 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.