Community analysis of ammonia and nitrite oxidizers during start-up of nitritation reactors.
ABSTRACT: Partial nitrification of ammonium to nitrite under oxic conditions (nitritation) is a critical process for the effective use of alternative nitrogen removal technologies from wastewater. Here we investigated the conditions which promote establishment of a suitable microbial community for performing nitritation when starting from regular sewage sludge. Reactors were operated in duplicate under different conditions (pH, temperature, and dilution rate) and were fed with 50 mM ammonium either as synthetic medium or as sludge digester supernatant. In all cases, stable nitritation could be achieved within 10 to 20 days after inoculation. Quantitative in situ hybridization analysis with group-specific fluorescent rRNA-targeted oligonucleotides (FISH) in the different reactors showed that nitrite-oxidizing bacteria of the genus Nitrospira were only active directly after inoculation with sewage sludge (up to 4 days and detectable up to 10 days). As demonstrated by quantitative FISH and restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analyses of the amoA gene (encoding the active-site subunit of the ammonium monooxygenase), the community of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria changed within the first 15 to 20 days from a more diverse set of populations consisting of members of the Nitrosomonas communis and Nitrosomonas oligotropha sublineages and the Nitrosomonas europaea-Nitrosomonas eutropha subgroup in the inoculated sludge to a smaller subset in the reactors. Reactors operated at 30 degrees C and pH 7.5 contained reproducibly homogeneous communities dominated by one amoA RFLP type from the N. europaea-N. eutropha group. Duplicate reactors at pH 7.0 developed into diverse communities and showed transient population changes even within the ammonia oxidizer community. Reactors at pH 7.5 and 25 degrees C formed communities that were indistinguishable by the applied FISH probes but differing in amoA RFLP types. Communities in reactors fed with sludge digester supernatant exhibited a higher diversity and were constantly reinoculated with ammonium oxidizers from the supernatant. Therefore, such systems could be maintained at a higher dilution rate (0.75 day(-1) compared to 0.2 day(-1) for the synthetic wastewater reactors). Despite similar reactor performance with respect to chemical parameters, the underlying community structures were different, which may have an influence on stability during perturbations.
Project description:This work studied the microbial community in partial nitritation and complete nitrification processes, which were applied to treat the low Carbon Nitrogen ratio wastewater. The phospholipid fatty acid and quantitative PCR analysis showed that the sludge circulating ratio of 75% resulted in a good microbial growth and a higher abundance of ammonia oxidizing bacteria relative to the nitrite oxidizing bacteria. The Betaproteobacteria were observed to compose the most abundant sludge bacterial groups in the two processes, based on phylogenetic analysis. The phylogenetic analysis of both 16S rRNA and amoA gene indicated that the Nitrosomonas sp. were the dominant ammonia oxidizing bacteria in the partial nitritation process. The relative abundance of nitrite oxidizing bacteria, such as Nitrobacter sp. and Nitrospira sp., were significantly lower in the partial nitritation system over the complete nitrification system. The abundance of Planctomycetes was higher in the partial nitritation process, indicating the anammox reaction occurred in the partial nitritation system. These results suggested the nitrite accumulation rate of circulating ratios 75% was the highest, with an average of 92%,and a possibility to treat the low Carbon Nitrogen ratio wastewater using the partial nitritation/anammox process.
Project description:The effect of ammonium addition (6.5, 58, and 395 microg of NH4+-N g [dry weight] of soil(-1)) on soil microbial communities was explored. For medium and high ammonium concentrations, increased N2O release rates and a shift toward a higher contribution of nitrification to N2O release occurred after incubation for 5 days at 4 degrees C. Communities of ammonia oxidizers were assayed after 4 weeks of incubation by denaturant gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) of the amoA gene coding for the small subunit of ammonia monooxygenase. The DGGE fingerprints were invariably the same whether the soil was untreated or incubated with low, medium, or high ammonium concentrations. Phylogenetic analysis of cloned PCR products from excised DGGE bands detected amoA sequences which probably belonged to Nitrosospira 16S rRNA clusters 3 and 4. Additional clones clustered with Nitrosospira sp. strains Ka3 and Ka4 and within an amoA cluster from unknown species. A Nitrosomonas-like amoA gene was detected in only one clone. In agreement with the amoA results, community profiles of total bacteria analyzed by terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) showed only minor differences. However, a community shift occurred for denitrifier populations based on T-RFLP analysis of nirK genes encoding copper-containing nitrite reductase with incubation at medium and high ammonia concentrations. Major terminal restriction fragments observed in environmental samples were further described by correspondence to cloned nirK genes from the same soil. Phylogenetic analysis grouped these clones into clusters of soil nirK genes. However, some clones were also closely related to genes from known denitrifiers. The shift in the denitrifier community was probably the consequence of the increased supply of oxidized nitrogen through nitrification. Nitrification activity increased upon addition of ammonium, but the community structure of ammonium oxidizers did not change.
Project description:We examined the effect of ammonium and temperature on methane production in high rate upflow anaerobic sludge bed reactors treating pig manure supernatant. We operated four reactors at two ammonium concentrations ('low' at 1.9, 'high' at 3.7?g?L-1, termed LA and HA reactors, respectively) and at variable temperatures over 358 days. Archaeal and bacterial communities were characterized by Illumina sequencing of 16S rRNA amplicons. Ammonium was a major selective factor for bacterial and archaeal community structure. After ~200 days of adaptation to high ammonium levels, acetate and propionate removal and methane production improved substantially in HA reactors. Aceticlastic Methanosaeta was abundant and positively correlated to methane yield in the HA reactors, whereas Methanosarcina was more abundant in LA reactors. Furthermore, a group of monophyletic OTUs that was related to Thaumarchaeota in phylogenetic analysis was highly abundant in the archaeal communities, particularly in the HA reactors. The most abundant bacterial OTU in LA reactors, representing Syntrophomonadaceae, was also positively correlated to methane yield in the HA reactors, indicating its importance in methane production under ammonia stress. In conclusion, efficient methane production, involving aceticlastic methanogenesis by Methanosaeta took place in the reactors at free ammonia concentrations as high as 1?g?L-1.
Project description:Elevated nitrogen removal efficiencies from ammonium-rich wastewaters have been demonstrated by several applications, that combine nitritation and anammox processes. Denitrification will occur simultaneously when organic carbon is also present. In this study, the activity of aerobic ammonia oxidizing, anammox and denitrifying bacteria in a full scale sequencing batch reactor, treating digester supernatants, was studied by means of batch-assays. AOB and anammox activities were maximum at pH of 8.0 and 7.8-8.0, respectively. Short term effect of nitrite on anammox activity was studied, showing nitrite up to 42 mg/L did not result in inhibition. Both denitrification via nitrate and nitrite were measured. To reduce nitrite-oxidizing activity, high NH3-N (1.9-10 mg NH3-N/L) and low nitrite (3-8 mg TNN/L) are required conditions during the whole SBR cycle. Molecular analysis showed the nitritation-anammox sludge harbored a high microbial diversity, where each microorganism has a specific role. Using ammonia monooxygenase ?-subunit (amoA) gene as a marker, our analyses suggested different macro- and micro-environments in the reactor strongly affect the AOB community, allowing the development of different AOB species, such as N. europaea/eutropha and N. oligotropha groups, which improve the stability of nitritation process. A specific PCR primer set, used to target the 16S rRNA gene of anammox bacteria, confirmed the presence of the "Ca. Brocadia fulgida" type, able to grow in presence of organic matter and to tolerate high nitrite concentrations. The diversity of denitrifiers was assessed by using dissimilatory nitrite reductase (nirS) gene-based analyses, who showed denitifiers were related to different betaproteobacterial genera, such as Thauera, Pseudomonas, Dechloromonas and Aromatoleum, able to assist in forming microbial aggregates. Concerning possible secondary processes, no n-damo bacteria were found while NOB from the genus Nitrobacter was detected.
Project description:Partial-nitritation anammox (PNA) is a novel wastewater treatment procedure for energy-efficient ammonium removal. Here we use genome-resolved metagenomics to build a genome-based ecological model of the microbial community in a full-scale PNA reactor. Sludge from the bioreactor examined here is used to seed reactors in wastewater treatment plants around the world; however, the role of most of its microbial community in ammonium removal remains unknown. Our analysis yielded 23 near-complete draft genomes that together represent the majority of the microbial community. We assign these genomes to distinct anaerobic and aerobic microbial communities. In the aerobic community, nitrifying organisms and heterotrophs predominate. In the anaerobic community, widespread potential for partial denitrification suggests a nitrite loop increases treatment efficiency. Of our genomes, 19 have no previously cultivated or sequenced close relatives and six belong to bacterial phyla without any cultivated members, including the most complete Omnitrophica (formerly OP3) genome to date.
Project description:Moving bed biofilm reactors (MBBRs) are increasingly used for nitrogen removal with nitritation-anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) processes in wastewater treatment. Carriers provide protected surfaces where ammonia oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and anammox bacteria form complex biofilms. However, the knowledge about the organization of microbial communities in MBBR biofilms is sparse. We used new cryosectioning and imaging methods for fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) to study the structure of biofilms retrieved from carriers in a nitritation-anammox MBBR. The dimensions of the carrier compartments and the biofilm cryosections after FISH showed good correlation, indicating little disturbance of biofilm samples by the treatment. FISH showed that Nitrosomonas europaea/eutropha-related cells dominated the AOB and Candidatus Brocadia fulgida-related cells dominated the anammox guild. New carriers were initially colonized by AOB, followed by anammox bacteria proliferating in the deeper biofilm layers, probably in anaerobic microhabitats created by AOB activity. Mature biofilms showed a pronounced three-dimensional stratification where AOB dominated closer to the biofilm-water interface, whereas anammox were dominant deeper into the carrier space and towards the walls. Our results suggest that current mathematical models may be oversimplifying these three-dimensional systems and unless the multidimensionality of these systems is considered, models may result in suboptimal design of MBBR carriers.
Project description:In upflow anaerobic sludge bed (UASB) reactors, biomass present as granules allows for long solids retention time. Here, granules from a process treating pulp and paper industrial wastewater were successfully applied as inoculum in UASB reactors treating pig manure supernatant, despite high particle content and high ammonium concentrations in the influent. We did a detailed characterization of archaeal and bacterial communities associated with the inoculum and with the aggregated and dispersed fractions of the influent and the reactors after one year of operation. The granular communities underwent major changes and adapted to the highly distinct conditions without disintegration of the granules. Although the granules persisted in the reactors, non-granular aggregates accumulated, and partly replaced the granules. Particles introduced to the reactors by the pig manure influent apparently contributed both as food and biofilm growth support. Archaeal communities in the dispersed reactor phase were similar to those dispersed in the influents, implying successful retention and little loss of archaeal biomass due to detachment or disintegration of granules and other aggregates. Unique bacterial communities developed in the dispersed fraction of the reactors despite of low hydraulic retention times. They probably consisted of fast growing organisms consuming readily degradable organic matter.
Project description:The nitritation-anammox process, which involves partial aerobic oxidation of the ammonium to nitrite and following oxidation of ammonium by nitrite to molecular nitrogen, is an efficient and cost-effective approach for biological nitrogen removal from wastewater. To characterize the microbial communities involved in the nitrogen and carbon cycles in wastewater treatment bioreactors employing this process, we sequenced the metagenome of a sludge sample collected from the lab-scale nitritation-anammox sequencing-batch reactor. At the phylum level, Proteobacteria and Chloroflexi were the most numerous groups. Anammox bacteria belonged to the genus Candidatus Brocadia. The obtained data will help to investigate the taxonomical and functional diversity the microbial communities involved in nitritation-anammox process, and will be used for genome-based analysis of uncultured bacterial lineages. The raw sequencing data is available from the NCBI Sequence Read Archive (SRR9831403) database under the BioProject PRJN0A55627.
Project description:Because the chemolithotrophic ammonium-oxidizing bacteria are an integral component of nitrogen biogeochemistry, a sensitive and accurate method to detect this ecologically important group of microorganisms is needed. The amoA gene of these organisms encodes the active site of ammonia monooxygenase, an enzyme unique to this group of nitrifying bacteria. We report here the use of the PCR technique to detect the amoA gene from pure cultures of chemolithotrophic ammonium-oxidizing bacteria, ammonium oxidizers introduced into filtered seawater, and the natural bacterial population of an unfiltered seawater sample. Oligonucleotide primers, based on the published amoA sequence from Nitrosomonas europaea, were used to amplify DNA from pure cultures of Nitrosomonas europaea, Nitrosomonas cryotolerans, and Nitrosococcus oceanus and from bacteria in seawater collected offshore near the Florida Keys. Partial sequencing of the amplification products verified that they were amoA. These primers, used in conjunction with a radiolabeled amoA gene probe from Nitrosomonas europaea, could detect Nitrosococcus oceanus inoculated into filter-sterilized seawater at 10(4) cells liter-1. Native marine bacteria containing amoA could also be detected at their naturally occurring titer in oligotrophic seawater. Amplification of the gene for ammonia monooxygenase may provide a method to estimate the distribution and relative abundance of chemolithotrophic ammonium-oxidizing bacteria in the environment.
Project description:The combination of partial nitritation (PN) and anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) has been proposed as an ideal process for nitrogen removal from source-separated urine, while the high organic matters in urine cause instability of single-stage PN-anammox process. This study aims to remove the organic matters and partially nitrify the nitrogen in urine, producing an ammonium/nitrite solution suitable for anammox. The organic matters in stored urine were used as the electron donors to achieve 40% total nitrogen removal in nitritation-denitrification process in a sequencing batch reactor (SBR). Granular aggregates were observed and high mixed liquor suspended solids (9.5 g/L) were maintained in the SBR. Around 70-75% ammonium was oxidized to nitrite under the volumetric loading rates of 3.23 kg chemical oxygen demand (COD)/(m3 d) and 1.86 kg N/(m3 d), respectively. The SBR produced an ammonium/nitrite solution free of biodegradable organic matters, with a NO2--N:NH4+-N of 1.24 ± 0.13. Fluorescence in situ hybridization images showed that Nitrosomonas-like ammonium-oxidizing bacteria, accounting for 7.2% of total bacteria, located in the outer layer (25 ?m), while heterotrophs distributed homogeneously throughout the granular aggregates. High concentrations of free ammonia and nitrous acids in the reactor severely inhibited the growth of nitrite-oxidizing bacteria, resulting in their absence in the granular sludge. The microbial diversity analysis indicated Proteobacteria was the predominant phylum, in which Pseudomonas was the most abundant genus.