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Microbes and environments

Microbial community composition of polyhydroxyalkanoate-accumulating organisms in full-scale wastewater treatment plants operated in fully aerobic mode.


PMID 23257912

Abstract

The removal of biodegradable organic matter is one of the most important objectives in biological wastewater treatments. Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA)-accumulating organisms (PHAAOs) significantly contribute to the removal of biodegradable organic matter; however, their microbial community composition is mostly unknown. In the present study, the microbial community composition of PHAAOs was investigated at 8 full-scale wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), operated in fully aerobic mode, by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis and post-FISH Nile blue A (NBA) staining techniques. Our results demonstrated that 1) PHAAOs were in the range of 11-18% in the total number of cells, and 2) the microbial community composition of PHAAOs was similar at the bacterial domain/phylum/class/order level among the 8 full-scale WWTPs, and dominant PHAAOs were members of the class Alphaproteobacteria and Betaproteobacteria. The microbial community composition of α- and β-proteobacterial PHAAOs was examined by 16S rRNA gene clone library analysis and further by applying a set of newly designed oligonucleotide probes targeting 16S rRNA gene sequences of α- or β-proteobacterial PHAAOs. The results demonstrated that the microbial community composition of PHAAOs differed in the class Alphaproteobacteria and Betaproteobacteria, which possibly resulted in a different PHA accumulation capacity among the WWTPs (8.5-38.2 mg-C g-VSS(-1) h(-1)). The present study extended the knowledge of the microbial diversity of PHAAOs in full-scale WWTPs operated in fully aerobic mode.

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