Diversity, localization, and physiological properties of filamentous microbes belonging to Chloroflexi subphylum I in mesophilic and thermophilic methanogenic sludge granules.
ABSTRACT: We previously reported that the thermophilic filamentous anaerobe Anaerolinea thermophila, which is the first cultured representative of subphylum I of the bacterial phylum Chloroflexi, not only was one of the predominant constituents of thermophilic sludge granules but also was a causative agent of filamentous sludge bulking in a thermophilic (55 degrees C) upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor in which high-strength organic wastewater was treated (Y. Sekiguchi, H. Takahashi, Y. Kamagata, A. Ohashi, and H. Harada, Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 67:5740-5749, 2001). To further elucidate the ecology and function of Anaerolinea-type filamentous microbes in UASB sludge granules, we surveyed the diversity, distribution, and physiological properties of Chloroflexi subphylum I microbes residing in UASB granules. Five different types of mesophilic and thermophilic UASB sludge were used to analyze the Chloroflexi subphylum I populations. 16S rRNA gene cloning-based analyses using a 16S rRNA gene-targeted Chloroflexi-specific PCR primer set revealed that all clonal sequences were affiliated with the Chloroflexi subphylum I group and that a number of different phylotypes were present in each clone library, suggesting the ubiquity and vast genetic diversity of these populations in UASB sludge granules. Subsequent fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) of the three different types of mesophilic sludge granules using a Chloroflexi-specific probe suggested that all probe-reactive cells had a filamentous morphology and were widely distributed within the sludge granules. The FISH observations also indicated that the Chloroflexi subphylum I bacteria were not always the predominant populations within mesophilic sludge granules, in contrast to thermophilic sludge granules. We isolated two mesophilic strains and one thermophilic strain belonging to the Chloroflexi subphylum I group. The physiological properties of these isolates suggested that these populations may contribute to the degradation of carbohydrates and other cellular components, such as amino acids, in the bioreactors.
Project description:Understanding fate of antibiotic resistant bacteria (ARB) vs. their antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) during wastewater sludge treatment is critical in order to reduce the spread of antibiotic resistance through process optimization. Here, we spiked high concentrations of tetracycline-resistant bacteria, isolated from mesophilic (Iso M1-1-a Pseudomonas sp.) and thermophilic (Iso T10-a Bacillus sp.) anaerobic digested sludge, into batch digesters and monitored their fate by plate counts and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (QPCR) of their corresponding tetracycline ARGs. In batch studies, spiked ARB plate counts returned to baseline (thermophilic) or 1-log above baseline (mesophilic) while levels of the ARG present in the spiked isolate [tet(G)] remained high in mesophilic batch reactors. To compare results under semi-continuous flow conditions with natural influent variation, tet(O), tet(W), and sul1 ARGs, along with the intI1 integrase gene, were monitored over a 9-month period in the raw feed sludge and effluent sludge of lab-scale thermophilic and mesophilic anaerobic digesters. sul1 and intI1 in mesophilic and thermophilic digesters correlated positively (Spearman rho = 0.457-0.829, P < 0.05) with the raw feed sludge. There was no correlation in tet(O) or tet(W) ratios in raw sludge and mesophilic digested sludge or thermophilic digested sludge (Spearman rho = 0.130-0.486, P = 0.075-0.612). However, in the thermophilic digester, the tet(O) and tet(W) ratios remained consistently low over the entire monitoring period. We conclude that the influent sludge microbial composition can influence the ARG content of a digester, apparently as a result of differential survival or death of ARBs or horizontal gene transfer of genes between raw sludge ARBs and the digester microbial community. Notably, mesophilic digestion was more susceptible to ARG intrusion than thermophilic digestion, which may be attributed to a higher rate of ARB survival and/or horizontal gene transfer between raw sludge bacteria and the digester microbial community.
Project description:We previously showed that very thin filamentous bacteria affiliated with the division green non-sulfur bacteria were abundant in the outermost layer of thermophilic methanogenic sludge granules fed with sucrose and several low-molecular-weight fatty acids (Y. Sekiguchi, Y. Kamagata, K. Nakamura, A. Ohashi, H. Harada, Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 65:1280-1288, 1999). Further 16S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) cloning-based analysis revealed that the microbes were classified within a unique clade, green non-sulfur bacteria (GNSB) subdivision I, which contains a number of 16S rDNA clone sequences from various environmental samples but no cultured representatives. To investigate their function in the community and physiological traits, we attempted to isolate the yet-to-be-cultured microbes from the original granular sludge. The first attempt at isolation from the granules was, however, not successful. In the other thermophilic reactor that had been treating fried soybean curd-manufacturing wastewater, we found filamentous microorganisms to outgrow, resulting in the formation of projection-like structures on the surface of granules, making the granules look like sea urchins. 16S rDNA-cloning analysis combined with fluorescent in situ hybridization revealed that the projections were comprised of the uncultured filamentous cells affiliated with the GNSB subdivision I and Methanothermobacter-like cells and the very ends of the projections were comprised solely of the filamentous cells. By using the tip of the projection as the inoculum for primary enrichment, a thermophilic, strictly anaerobic, filamentous bacterium, designated strain UNI-1, was successfully isolated with a medium supplemented with sucrose and yeast extract. The strain was a very slow growing bacterium which is capable of utilizing only a limited range of carbohydrates in the presence of yeast extract and produced hydrogen from these substrates. The growth was found to be significantly stimulated when the strain was cocultured with a hydrogen-utilizing methanogen, Methanothermobacter thermautotrophicus, suggesting that the strain is a sugar-fermenting bacterium, the growth of which is dependent on hydrogen consumers in the granules.
Project description:A filamentous bulking of a methanogenic granular sludge caused by uncultured filamentous bacteria of the candidate phylum KSB3 in an upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) system has been reported. To characterize the physiological traits of the filaments, a polyphasic approach consisting of rRNA-based activity monitoring of the KSB3 filaments using the RNase H method and substrate uptake profiling using microautoradiography combined with fluorescence in situ hybridization (MAR-FISH) was conducted. On the basis of rRNA-based activity, the monitoring of a full-scale UASB reactor operated continuously revealed that KSB3 cells became active and predominant (up to 54% of the total 16S rRNA) in the sludge when the carbohydrate loading to the system increased. Batch experiments with a short incubation of the sludge with maltose, glucose, fructose, and maltotriose at relatively low concentrations (approximately 0.1 mM) in the presence of yeast extract also showed an increase in KSB3 rRNA levels under anaerobic conditions. MAR-FISH confirmed that the KSB3 cells took up radioisotopic carbons from [(14)C]maltose and [(14)C]glucose under the same incubation conditions in the batch experiments. These results suggest that one of the important ecophysiological characteristics of KSB3 cells in the sludge is carbohydrate degradation in wastewater and that high carbohydrate loadings may trigger an outbreak of KSB3 bacteria, causing sludge bulking in UASB systems.
Project description:Upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor has served as an effective process to treat industrial wastewater such as purified terephthalic acid (PTA) wastewater. For optimal UASB performance, balanced ecological interactions between syntrophs, methanogens, and fermenters are critical. However, much of the interactions remain unclear because UASB have been studied at a "macro"-level perspective of the reactor ecosystem. In reality, such reactors are composed of a suite of granules, each forming individual micro-ecosystems treating wastewater. Thus, typical approaches may be oversimplifying the complexity of the microbial ecology and granular development. To identify critical microbial interactions at both macro- and micro- level ecosystem ecology, we perform community and network analyses on 300 PTA-degrading granules from a lab-scale UASB reactor and two full-scale reactors. Based on MiSeq-based 16S rRNA gene sequencing of individual granules, different granule-types co-exist in both full-scale reactors regardless of granule size and reactor sampling depth, suggesting that distinct microbial interactions occur in different granules throughout the reactor. In addition, we identify novel networks of syntrophic metabolic interactions in different granules, perhaps caused by distinct thermodynamic conditions. Moreover, unseen methanogenic relationships (e.g. "Candidatus Aminicenantes" and Methanosaeta) are observed in UASB reactors. In total, we discover unexpected microbial interactions in granular micro-ecosystems supporting UASB ecology and treatment through a unique single-granule level approach.
Project description:The thermophilic, anaerobic, propionate-oxidizing bacterial populations present in the methanogenic granular sludge in a thermophilic (55 degrees C) upflow anaerobic sludge blanket reactor were studied by cultivation and in situ hybridization analysis. For isolation of propionate-degrading microbes, primary enrichment was made with propionate as the sole energy source at 55 degrees C. After several attempts to purify the microbes, a thermophilic, syntrophic, propionate-oxidizing bacterium, designated strain SI, was isolated in both pure culture and coculture with Methanobacterium thermoautotrophicum. Under thermophilic (55 degrees C) conditions, strain SI oxidized propionate, ethanol, and lactate in coculture with M. thermoautotrophicum. In pure culture, the isolate was found to ferment pyruvate. 16S ribosomal DNA sequence analysis revealed that the strain was relatively close to members of the genus Desulfotomaculum, but it was only distantly related to any known species. To elucidate the abundance and spatial distribution of organisms of the strain SI type within the sludge granules, a 16S rRNA-targeted oligonucleotide probe specific for strain SI was developed and applied to thin sections of the granules. Fluorescence in situ hybridization combined with confocal laser scanning microscopy revealed that a number of rod-shaped cells were present in the middle and inner layers of the thermophilic granule sections and that they formed close associations with hydrogenotrophic methanogens. They accounted for approximately 1.1% of the total cells in the sludge. These results demonstrated that strain SI was one of the significant populations in the granular sludge and that it was responsible for propionate oxidation in the methanogenic granular sludge in the reactor.
Project description:It is now clear that several of the filamentous bacteria in activated sludge wastewater treatment plants globally, are members of the phylum Chloroflexi. They appear to be more commonly found in treatment plants designed to remove nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P), most of which operate at long sludge ages and expose the biomass to anaerobic conditions. The Chloroflexi seem to play an important beneficial role in providing the filamentous scaffolding around which flocs are formed, to feed on the debris from lysed bacterial cells, to ferment carbohydrates and to degrade other complex polymeric organic compounds to low molecular weight substrates to support their growth and that of other bacterial populations. A few commonly extend beyond the floc surface, while others can align in bundles, which may facilitate interfloc bridging and hence generate a bulking sludge. Although several recent papers have examined the phylogeny and in situ physiology of Chloroflexi in activated sludge plants in Denmark, this review takes a wider look at what we now know about these filaments, especially their global distribution in activated sludge plants, and what their functional roles there might be. It also attempts to outline why such information might provide us with clues as to how their population levels may be manipulated, and the main research questions that need addressing to achieve these outcomes.
Project description:In this research, the feasibility of, and population dynamics in, one-step anaerobic sequencing batch reactor systems treating the fine sieved fraction (FSF) from raw municipal wastewater was studied under thermophilic (55 °C) and mesophilic (35 °C) conditions. FSF was sequestered from raw municipal wastewater, in the Netherlands, using a rotating belt filter (mesh size 350 micron). FSF is a heterogeneous substrate that mainly consists of fibres originating from toilet paper and thus contains a high cellulosic fraction (60-80 % of total solids content), regarded as an energy-rich material.Results of the 656-day fed-batch operation clearly showed that thermophilic digestion was more stable, applying high organic loading rates (OLR) up to 22 kg COD/(m(3) day). In contrast, the mesophilic digester already failed applying an OLR of 5.5 kg COD/(m(3) day), indicated by a drop in pH and increase in volatile fatty acids (VFAs). The observed viscosity values of the mesophilic sludge were more than tenfold higher than the thermophilic sludge. 454-pyrosequencing of eight mesophilic and eight thermophilic biomass samples revealed that Bacteroides and aceticlastic methanogen Methanosaeta were the dominant genera in the mesophilic digester, whereas OP9 lineages, Clostridium and the hydrogenotrophic methanogen Methanothermobacter dominated the thermophilic one.Our study suggests that applying thermophilic conditions for FSF digestion would result in a higher biogas production rate and/or a smaller required reactor volume, comparing to mesophilic conditions.
Project description:The effect of nickel deprivation from the influent of a mesophilic (30 degrees C) methanol fed upflow anaerobic sludge bed (UASB) reactor was investigated by coupling the reactor performance to the evolution of the Methanosarcina population of the bioreactor sludge. The reactor was operated at pH 7.0 and an organic loading rate (OLR) of 5-15 g COD l(-1) day(-1) for 191 days. A clear limitation of the specific methanogenic activity (SMA) on methanol due to the absence of nickel was observed after 129 days of bioreactor operation: the SMA of the sludge in medium with the complete trace metal solution except nickel amounted to 1.164 (+/-0.167) g CH(4)-COD g VSS(-1) day(-1) compared to 2.027 (+/-0.111) g CH(4)-COD g VSS(-1) day(-1) in a medium with the complete (including nickel) trace metal solution. The methanol removal efficiency during these 129 days was 99%, no volatile fatty acid (VFA) accumulation was observed and the size of the Methanosarcina population increased compared to the seed sludge. Continuation of the UASB reactor operation with the nickel limited sludge lead to incomplete methanol removal, and thus methanol accumulation in the reactor effluent from day 142 onwards. This methanol accumulation subsequently induced an increase of the acetogenic activity in the UASB reactor on day 160. On day 165, 77% of the methanol fed to the system was converted to acetate and the Methanosarcina population size had substantially decreased. Inclusion of 0.5 muM Ni (dosed as NiCl(2)) to the influent from day 165 onwards lead to the recovery of the methanol removal efficiency to 99% without VFA accumulation within 2 days of bioreactor operation.
Project description:The effect of omitting zinc from the influent of mesophilic (30 degrees C) methanol fed upflow anaerobic sludge bed (UASB) reactors, and latter zinc supplementation to the influent to counteract the deprivation, was investigated by coupling the UASB reactor performance to the microbial ecology of the bioreactor sludge. Limitation of the specific methanogenic activity (SMA) on methanol due to the absence of zinc from the influent developed after 137 days of operation. At that day, the SMA in medium with a complete trace metal solution except Zn was 3.4 g CH4-COD g VSS(-1) day(-1), compared to 4.2 g CH4-COD g VSS(-1) day(-1) in a medium with a complete (including zinc) trace metal solution. The methanol removal capacity during these 137 days was 99% and no volatile fatty acids accumulated. Two UASB reactors, inoculated with the zinc-deprived sludge, were operated to study restoration of the zinc limitation by zinc supplementation to the bioreactor influent. In a first reactor, no changes to the operational conditions were made. This resulted in methanol accumulation in the reactor effluent after 12 days of operation, which subsequently induced acetogenic activity 5 days after the methanol accumulation started. Methanogenesis could not be recovered by the continuous addition of 0.5 microM ZnCl2 to the reactor for 13 days. In the second reactor, 0.5 microM ZnCl2 was added from its start-up. Although the reactor stayed 10 days longer methanogenically than the reactor operated without zinc, methanol accumulation was observed in this reactor (up to 1.1 g COD-MeOH L(-1)) as well. This study shows that zinc limitation can induce failure of methanol fed UASB reactors due to acidification, which cannot be restored by resuming the continuous supply of the deprived metal.