Scientific reports

Diversity and functions of bacterial community in drinking water biofilms revealed by high-throughput sequencing.

PMID 26067561


The development of biofilms in drinking water (DW) systems may cause various problems to water quality. To investigate the community structure of biofilms on different pipe materials and the global/specific metabolic functions of DW biofilms, PCR-based 454 pyrosequencing data for 16S rRNA genes and Illumina metagenomic data were generated and analysed. Considerable differences in bacterial diversity and taxonomic structure were identified between biofilms formed on stainless steel and biofilms formed on plastics, indicating that the metallic materials facilitate the formation of higher diversity biofilms. Moreover, variations in several dominant genera were observed during biofilm formation. Based on PCA analysis, the global functions in the DW biofilms were similar to other DW metagenomes. Beyond the global functions, the occurrences and abundances of specific protective genes involved in the glutathione metabolism, the SoxRS system, the OxyR system, RpoS regulated genes, and the production/degradation of extracellular polymeric substances were also evaluated. A near-complete and low-contamination draft genome was constructed from the metagenome of the DW biofilm, based on the coverage and tetranucleotide frequencies, and identified as a Bradyrhizobiaceae-like bacterium according to a phylogenetic analysis. Our findings provide new insight into DW biofilms, especially in terms of their metabolic functions.