Ammonia- and nitrite-oxidizing bacterial communities in a pilot-scale chloraminated drinking water distribution system.
ABSTRACT: Nitrification in drinking water distribution systems is a common operational problem for many utilities that use chloramines for secondary disinfection. The diversity of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and nitrite-oxidizing bacteria (NOB) in the distribution systems of a pilot-scale chloraminated drinking water treatment system was characterized using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) analysis and 16S rRNA gene (ribosomal DNA [rDNA]) cloning and sequencing. For ammonia oxidizers, 16S rDNA-targeted T-RFLP indicated the presence of Nitrosomonas in each of the distribution systems, with a considerably smaller peak attributable to Nitrosospira-like AOB. Sequences of AOB amplification products aligned within the Nitrosomonas oligotropha cluster and were closely related to N. oligotropha and Nitrosomonas ureae. The nitrite-oxidizing communities were comprised primarily of Nitrospira, although Nitrobacter was detected in some samples. These results suggest a possible selection of AOB related to N. oligotropha and N. ureae in chloraminated systems and demonstrate the presence of NOB, indicating a biological mechanism for nitrite loss that contributes to a reduction in nitrite-associated chloramine decay.
Project description:Ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) in nitrifying biofilters degrading four regulated trihalomethanes-trichloromethane, bromodichloromethane, dibromochloromethane, and tribromomethane-were related to Nitrosomonas oligotropha. N. oligotropha is associated with chloraminated drinking water systems, and its presence in the biofilters might indicate that trihalomethane tolerance is another reason that this bacterium is dominant in chloraminated systems.
Project description:Typically, nitrification is a two-stage microbial process and is key in wastewater treatment and nutrient recovery from waste streams. Changes in salinity represent a major stress factor that can trigger response mechanisms, impacting the activity and the physiology of bacteria. Despite its pivotal biotechnological role, little information is available on the specific response of nitrifying bacteria to varying levels of salinity. In this study, synthetic communities of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB Nitrosomonas europaea and/or Nitrosomonas ureae) and nitrite-oxidizing bacteria (NOB Nitrobacter winogradskyi and/or Nitrobacter vulgaris) were tested at 5, 10, and 30 mS cm-1 by adding sodium chloride to the mineral medium (0, 40, and 200 mM NaCl, respectively). Ammonia oxidation activity was less affected by salinity than nitrite oxidation. AOB, on their own or in combination with NOB, showed no significant difference in the ammonia oxidation rate among the three conditions. However, N. winogradskyi improved the absolute ammonia oxidation rate of both N. europaea and N. ureae. N. winogradskyi's nitrite oxidation rate decreased to 42% residual activity upon exposure to 30 mS cm-1, also showing a similar behavior when tested with Nitrosomonas spp. The nitrite oxidation rate of N. vulgaris, as a single species, was not affected when adding sodium chloride up to 30 mS cm-1, however, its activity was completely inhibited when combined with Nitrosomonas spp. in the presence of ammonium/ammonia. The proteomic analysis of a co-culture of N. europaea and N. winogradskyi revealed the production of osmolytes, regulation of cell permeability and an oxidative stress response in N. europaea and an oxidative stress response in N. winogradskyi, as a result of increasing the salt concentration from 5 to 30 mS cm-1. A specific metabolic response observed in N. europaea suggests the role of carbon metabolism in the production of reducing power, possibly to meet the energy demands of the stress response mechanisms, induced by high salinity. For the first time, metabolic modifications and response mechanisms caused by the exposure to salinity were described, serving as a tool toward controllability and predictability of nitrifying systems exposed to salt fluctuations.
Project description:In this study, dideoxy sequencing and 454 high-throughput sequencing were used to analyze diversities of the ammonia monooxygenase (amoA) genes and the 16S rRNA genes of ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) and ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) in six municipal wastewater treatment plants. The results showed that AOB amoA genes were quite diverse in different wastewater treatment plants while the 16S rRNA genes were relatively conserved. Based on the observed complexity of amoA and 16S rRNA genes, most of the AOB can be assigned to the Nitrosomonas genus, with Nitrosomonas ureae, Nitrosomonas oligotropha, Nitrosomonas marina, and Nitrosomonas aestuarii being the four most dominant species. From the sequences of the AOA amoA genes, most AOA observed in this study belong to the CGI.1b group, i.e., the soil lineage. The AOB amoA and 16S rRNA genes were quantified by quantitative PCR and 454 high-throughput pyrosequencing, respectively. Although the results from the two approaches show some disconcordance, they both indicated that the abundance of AOB in activated sludge was very low.
Project description:The effects of the lengths of aeration and nonaeration periods on nitrogen removal and the nitrifying bacterial community structure were assessed in intermittently aerated (IA) reactors treating digested swine wastewater. Five IA reactors were operated in parallel with different aeration-to-nonaeration time ratios (ANA). Populations of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and nitrite-oxidizing bacteria (NOB) were monitored using 16S rRNA slot blot hybridizations. AOB species diversity was assessed using amoA gene denaturant gradient gel electrophoresis. Nitrosomonas and Nitrosococcus mobilis were the dominant AOB and Nitrospira spp. were the dominant NOB in all reactors, although Nitrosospira and Nitrobacter were also detected at lower levels. Reactors operated with the shortest aeration time (30 min) showed the highest Nitrosospira rRNA levels, and reactors operated with the longest anoxic periods (3 and 4 h) showed the lowest levels of Nitrobacter, compared to the other reactors. Nitrosomonas sp. strain Nm107 was detected in all reactors, regardless of the reactor's performance. Close relatives of Nitrosomonas europaea, Nitrosomonas sp. strain ENI-11, and Nitrosospira multiformis were occasionally detected in all reactors. Biomass fractions of AOB and effluent ammonia concentrations were not significantly different among the reactors. NOB were more sensitive than AOB to long nonaeration periods, as nitrite accumulation and lower total NOB rRNA levels were observed for an ANA of 1 h:4 h. The reactor with the longest nonaeration time of 4 h performed partial nitrification, followed by denitrification via nitrite, whereas the other reactors removed nitrogen through traditional nitrification and denitrification via nitrate. Superior ammonia removal efficiencies were not associated with levels of specific AOB species or with higher AOB species diversity.
Project description:Ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) are important members of terrestrial, marine, and industrial microbial communities and play a fundamental role in the Nitrogen cycle within these systems. They are responsible for the first step of nitrification, ammonia oxidation to nitrite. Although AOB are widespread and essential to environmental and industrial systems, where they regularly experience fluctuations in ammonia availability, no comparative studies of the physiological response of diverse AOB species at the protein level exist. In the present study, we used 1D-LC-MS/MS proteomics to compare the metabolism and physiology of three species of ammonia AOB, Nitrosomonas europaea, Nitrosospira multiformis, and Nitrosomonas ureae, under ammonia replete and ammonia starved conditions. Additionally, we compared the expression of orthologous genes to determine the major differences in the proteome composition of the three species. We found that approximately one-third of the predicted proteome was expressed in each species and that proteins for the key metabolic processes, ammonia oxidation and carbon fixation, were among the most abundant. The red copper protein, nitrosocyanin was highly abundant in all three species hinting toward its possible role as a central metabolic enzyme in AOB. The proteomic data also allowed us to identify pyrophosphate-dependent 6-phosphofructokinase as the potential enzyme replacing the Calvin-Benson-Bassham cycle enzyme Fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase missing in N. multiformis and N. ureae. Additionally, between species, there were statistically significant differences in the expression of many abundant proteins, including those related to nitrogen metabolism (nitrite reductase), motility (flagellin), cell growth and division (FtsH), and stress response (rubrerythrin). The three species did not exhibit a starvation response at the proteome level after 24 h of ammonia starvation, however, the levels of the RuBisCO enzyme were consistently reduced after the starvation period, suggesting a decrease in capacity for biomass accumulation. This study presents the first published proteomes of N. ureae and N. multiformis, and the first comparative proteomics study of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria, which gives new insights into consistent metabolic features and differences between members of this environmentally and industrially important group.
Project description:The measures of most-probable-number and restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis were used to analyze the abundance and diversity of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria in sediment of a Chinese shallow eutrophic urban lake (Lake Yuehu). Among the 5 sampling sites, ammonia concentration in interstitial water was positively proportional not only to the content of organic matter, but also to ammonia-oxidizing bacteria numbers (at a magnitude of 10(5) cells g(-1) dry weight) in sediment significantly. Furthermore, the diversity of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria were determined by means of PCR primers targeting the amoA gene with five gene libraries created and restriction pattern analysis. The 13 restriction patterns were recorded with 4 ones being common among all sampling sites. The 8 restriction patterns including 4 unique ones were found at the site with the highest NH4 (+) concentrations in interstitial water, while, there were only common patterns without unique ones at the site with the lowest NH4 (+) concentrations in interstitial water. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the amoA fragments retrieved belong to Nitrosomonas oligotropha & ureae lineage, N. europaea lineage, N. communis lineage and Nitrosospira lineage, most of which were affiliated with the genus Nitrosomonas. The N. oligotropha & ureae-like bacteria were the dominant species. Thus, the abundance and diversity of sediment AOB is closely linked to ammonium status in eutrophic lakes.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Residual disinfection is often used to suppress biological growth in drinking water distribution systems (DWDSs), but not without undesirable side effects. In this study, water-main biofilms, drinking water, and bacteria under corrosion tubercles were analyzed from a chloraminated DWDS (USA) and a no-residual DWDS (Norway). Using quantitative real-time PCR, we quantified bacterial 16S rRNA genes and ammonia monooxygenase genes (amoA) of Nitrosomonas oligotropha and ammonia-oxidizing archaea-organisms that may contribute to chloramine loss. PCR-amplified 16S rRNA genes were sequenced to assess community taxa and diversity. RESULTS:The chloraminated DWDS had lower biofilm biomass (P=1×10-6) but higher N. oligotropha-like amoA genes (P=2×10-7) than the no-residual DWDS (medians =4.7×104 and 1.1×103amoA copies cm-2, chloraminated and no residual, respectively); archaeal amoA genes were only detected in the no-residual DWDS (median =2.8×104 copies cm-2). Unlike the no-residual DWDS, biofilms in the chloraminated DWDS had lower within-sample diversity than the corresponding drinking water (P<1×10-4). Chloramine was also associated with biofilms dominated by the genera, Mycobacterium and Nitrosomonas (≤91.7% and ≤39.6% of sequences, respectively). Under-tubercle communities from both systems contained corrosion-associated taxa, especially Desulfovibrio spp. (≤98.4% of sequences). CONCLUSIONS:Although residual chloramine appeared to decrease biofilm biomass and alpha diversity as intended, it selected for environmental mycobacteria and Nitrosomonas oligotropha-taxa that may pose water quality challenges. Drinking water contained common freshwater plankton and did not resemble corresponding biofilm communities in either DWDS; monitoring of tap water alone may therefore miss significant constituents of the DWDS microbiome. Corrosion-associated Desulfovibrio spp. were observed under tubercles in both systems but were particularly dominant in the chloraminated DWDS, possibly due to the addition of sulfate from the coagulant alum.
Project description:Nitrification plays a crucial role in global nitrogen cycling and treatment processes. However, the relationships between the nitrifier guilds of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and nitrite-oxidizing bacteria (NOB) are still poorly understood, especially in freshwater habitats. This study examined the physiological interactions between the AOB and NOB present in a freshwater aquarium biofilter by culturing them, either together or separately, in a synthetic medium. Metagenomic and 16S rRNA gene sequencing revealed the presence and the draft genomes of Nitrosomonas-like AOB as well as Nitrobacter-like NOB in the cultures, including the first draft genome of Nitrobacter vulgaris. The nitrifiers exhibited different growth rates with different ammonium (NH4+) or nitrite concentrations (50-1,500 ?M) and the growth rates were elevated under a high bicarbonate (HCO3-) concentration. The half-saturation constant (Ks for NH4+), the maximum growth rate (?max), and the lag duration indicated a strong dependence on the synergistic relationships between the two guilds. Overall, the ecophysiological and metagenomic results in this study provided insights into the phylogeny of the key nitrifying players in a freshwater biofilter and showed that interactions between the two nitrifying guilds in a microbial community enhanced nitrification.
Project description:Membrane-aerated biofilm reactors performing autotrophic nitrogen removal can be successfully applied to treat concentrated nitrogen streams. However, their process performance is seriously hampered by the growth of nitrite oxidizing bacteria (NOB). In this work we document how sequential aeration can bring the rapid and long-term suppression of NOB and the onset of the activity of anaerobic ammonium oxidizing bacteria (AnAOB). Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction analyses confirmed that such shift in performance was mirrored by a change in population densities, with a very drastic reduction of the NOB?Nitrospira and Nitrobacter and a 10-fold increase in AnAOB numbers. The study of biofilm sections with relevant 16S rRNA fluorescent probes revealed strongly stratified biofilm structures fostering aerobic ammonium oxidizing bacteria (AOB) in biofilm areas close to the membrane surface (rich in oxygen) and AnAOB in regions neighbouring the liquid phase. Both communities were separated by a transition region potentially populated by denitrifying heterotrophic bacteria. AOB and AnAOB bacterial groups were more abundant and diverse than NOB, and dominated by the r-strategists Nitrosomonas europaea and Ca. Brocadia anammoxidans, respectively. Taken together, the present work presents tools to better engineer, monitor and control the microbial communities that support robust, sustainable and efficient nitrogen removal.
Project description:Extremely acidic and metal-rich acid mine drainage (AMD) waters can have severe toxicological effects on aquatic ecosystems. AMD has been shown to completely halt nitrification, which plays an important role in transferring nitrogen to higher organisms and in mitigating nitrogen pollution. We evaluated the gene abundance and diversity of nitrifying microbes in AMD-impacted sediments: ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA), ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB), and nitrite-oxidizing bacteria (NOB). Samples were collected from the Iron Springs Mining District (Ophir, CO, United States) during early and late summer in 2013 and 2014. Many of the sites were characterized by low pH (<5) and high metal concentrations. Sequence analyses revealed AOA genes related to Nitrososphaera, Nitrosotalea, and Nitrosoarchaeum; AOB genes related to Nitrosomonas and Nitrosospira; and NOB genes related to Nitrospira. The overall abundance of AOA, AOB and NOB was examined using quantitative PCR (qPCR) amplification of the amoA and nxrB functional genes and 16S rRNA genes. Gene copy numbers ranged from 3.2 × 104 - 4.9 × 107 archaeal amoA copies ? ?g DNA-1, 1.5 × 103 - 5.3 × 105 AOB 16S rRNA copies ? ?g DNA-1, and 1.3 × 106 - 7.7 × 107Nitrospira nxrB copies ? ?g DNA-1. Overall, Nitrospira nxrB genes were found to be more abundant than AOB 16S rRNA and archaeal amoA genes in most of the sample sites across 2013 and 2014. AOB 16S rRNA and Nitrospira nxrB genes were quantified in sediments with pH as low as 3.2, and AOA amoA genes were quantified in sediments as low as 3.5. Though pH varied across all sites (pH 3.2-8.3), pH was not strongly correlated to the overall community structure or relative abundance of individual OTUs for any gene (based on CCA and Spearman correlations). pH was positivity correlated to the total abundance (qPCR) of AOB 16S rRNA genes, but not for any other genes. Metals were not correlated to the overall nitrifier community composition or abundance, but were correlated to the relative abundances of several individual OTUs. These findings extend our understanding of the distribution of nitrifying microbes in AMD-impacted systems and provide a platform for further research.