Pyrosequencing analysis of bacterial diversity in 14 wastewater treatment systems in China.
ABSTRACT: To determine if there is a core microbial community in the microbial populations of different wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) and to investigate the effects of wastewater characteristics, operational parameters, and geographic locations on microbial communities, activated sludge samples were collected from 14 wastewater treatment systems located in 4 cities in China. High-throughput pyrosequencing was used to examine the 16S rRNA genes of bacteria in the wastewater treatment systems. Our results showed that there were 60 genera of bacterial populations commonly shared by all 14 samples, including Ferruginibacter, Prosthecobacter, Zoogloea, Subdivision 3 genera incertae sedis, Gp4, Gp6, etc., indicating that there is a core microbial community in the microbial populations of WWTPs at different geographic locations. The canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) results showed that the bacterial community variance correlated most strongly with water temperature, conductivity, pH, and dissolved oxygen (DO) content. Variance partitioning analyses suggested that wastewater characteristics had the greatest contribution to the bacterial community variance, explaining 25.7% of the variance of bacterial communities independently, followed by operational parameters (23.9%) and geographic location (14.7%). Results of this study provided insights into the bacterial community structure and diversity in geographically distributed WWTPs and discerned the relationships between bacterial community and environmental variables in WWTPs.
Project description:To understand microbial community functional structures of activated sludge in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) and the effects of environmental factors on their structure, 12 activated sludge samples were collected from four WWTPs in Beijing. GeoChip 4.2 was used to determine the microbial functional genes involved in a variety of biogeochemical processes. The results showed that, for each gene category, such as egl, amyA, nir, ppx, dsrA sox and benAB, there were a number of microorganisms shared by all 12 samples, suggestive of the presence of a core microbial community in the activated sludge of four WWTPs. Variance partitioning analyses (VPA) showed that a total of 53% of microbial community variation can be explained by wastewater characteristics (25%) and operational parameters (23%), respectively. This study provided an overall picture of microbial community functional structures of activated sludge in WWTPs and discerned the linkages between microbial communities and environmental variables in WWTPs. Four full-scale wastewater treatment systems located in Beijing were investigated. Triplicate samples were collected in each site.
Project description:This study was conducted to investigate whether functions encoded in the metagenome could improve our ability to understand the link between microbial community structures and functions in activated sludge. By analyzing data sets from six industrial and six municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), covering different configurations, operational conditions, and geographic regions, we found that wastewater influent composition was an overriding factor shaping the metagenomic composition of the activated sludge samples. Community GC content profiles were conserved within treatment plants on a time scale of years and between treatment plants with similar influent wastewater types. Interestingly, GC contents of the represented phyla covaried with the average GC contents of the corresponding WWTP metagenome. This suggests that the factors influencing nucleotide composition act similarly across taxa and thus the variation in nucleotide contents is driven by environmental differences between WWTPs. While taxonomic richness and functional richness were correlated, shotgun metagenomics complemented taxon-based analyses in the task of classifying microbial communities involved in wastewater treatment systems. The observed taxonomic dissimilarity between full-scale WWTPs receiving influent types with varied compositions, as well as the inferred taxonomic and functional assignment of recovered genomes from each metagenome, were consistent with underlying differences in the abundance of distinctive sets of functional categories. These conclusions were robust with respect to plant configuration, operational and environmental conditions, and even differences in laboratory protocols.This work contributes to the elucidation of drivers of microbial community assembly in wastewater treatment systems. Our results are significant because they provide clear evidence that bacterial communities in WWTPs assemble mainly according to influent wastewater characteristics. Differences in bacterial community structures between WWTPs were consistent with differences in the abundance of distinctive sets of functional categories, which were related to the metabolic potential that would be expected according to the source of the wastewater.
Project description:It is assumed that microbial communities involved in the biological treatment of different wastewaters having a different chemical composition harbor different microbial populations which are specifically adapted to the environmental stresses encountered in these systems. Yet, little is known about the composition of these microbial communities. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the microbial community composition over two seasons (winter and summer) in activated sludge from well-operating textile wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) in comparison with municipal WWTPs, and to explain observed differences by environmental variables. 454-pyrosequencing generated 160 archaeal and 1645 bacterial species-level Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs), with lower observed richness in activated sludge from textile WWTPs compared to municipal WWTPs. The bacterial phyla Planctomycetes, Chloroflexi, Chlorobi, and Acidobacteria were more abundant in activated sludge samples from textile WWTPs, together with archaeal members of Thaumarchaeota. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling analysis of the microbial communities showed that microbial communities from textile and municipal WWTPs were significantly different, with a seasonal effect on archaea. Nitrifying and denitrifying bacteria as well as phosphate-accumulation bacteria were more abundant in municipal WWTPs, while sulfate-reducing bacteria were almost only detected in textile WWTPs. Additionally, microbial communities from textile WWTPs were more dissimilar than those of municipal WWTPs, possibly due to a wider diversity in environmental stresses to which microbial communities in textile WWTPs are subjected to. High salinity, high organic loads, and a higher water temperature were important potential variables driving the microbial community composition in textile WWTPs. This study provides a general view on the composition of microbial communities in activated sludge of textile WWTPs, and may provide novel insights for identifying key players performing important functions in the purification of textile wastewaters.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Biological WWTPs must be functionally stable to continuously and steadily remove contaminants which rely upon the activity of complex microbial communities. However, knowledge is still lacking in regard to microbial community functional structures and their linkages to environmental variables.<h4>Aims</h4>To investigate microbial community functional structures of activated sludge in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) and to understand the effects of environmental factors on their structure.<h4>Methods</h4>12 activated sludge samples were collected from four WWTPs in Beijing. A comprehensive functional gene array named GeoChip 4.2 was used to determine the microbial functional genes involved in a variety of biogeochemical processes such as carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous and sulfur cycles, metal resistance, antibiotic resistance and organic contaminant degradation.<h4>Results</h4>High similarities of the microbial community functional structures were found among activated sludge samples from the four WWTPs, as shown by both diversity indices and the overlapped genes. For individual gene category, such as egl, amyA, lip, nirS, nirK, nosZ, ureC, ppx, ppk, aprA, dsrA, sox and benAB, there were a number of microorganisms shared by all 12 samples. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) showed that the microbial functional patterns were highly correlated with water temperature, dissolved oxygen (DO), ammonia concentrations and loading rate of chemical oxygen demand (COD). Based on the variance partitioning analyses (VPA), a total of 53% of microbial community variation from GeoChip data can be explained by wastewater characteristics (25%) and operational parameters (23%), respectively.<h4>Conclusions</h4>This study provided an overall picture of microbial community functional structures of activated sludge in WWTPs and discerned the linkages between microbial communities and environmental variables in WWTPs.
Project description:Wastewater treatment is crucial to environmental hygiene in urban environments. However, wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) collect chemicals, organic matter, and microorganisms including pathogens and multi-resistant bacteria from various sources which may be potentially released into the environment via WWTP effluent. To better understand microbial dynamics in WWTPs, we characterized and compared the bacterial community of the inflow and effluent of a WWTP in Berlin, Germany using full-length 16S rRNA gene sequences, which allowed for species level determination in many cases and generally resolved bacterial taxa. Significantly distinct bacterial communities were identified in the wastewater inflow and effluent samples. Dominant operational taxonomic units (OTUs) varied both temporally and spatially. Disease associated bacterial groups were efficiently reduced in their relative abundance from the effluent by the WWTP treatment process, except for Legionella and Leptospira species which demonstrated an increase in relative proportion from inflow to effluent. This indicates that WWTPs, while effective against enteric bacteria, may enrich and release other potentially pathogenic bacteria into the environment. The taxonomic resolution of full-length 16S rRNA genes allows for improved characterization of potential pathogenic taxa and other harmful bacteria which is required to reliably assess health risk.
Project description:The structure of microbial consortia in wastewater treatment facilities is a resultant of environmental conditions created by the operational parameters of the purification process. In the research, activated sludge from nine Polish wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) was investigated at a molecular level to determine the impact of the complexity of biological treatment line and the influent composition on the species structure and the diversity of bacterial consortia. The community fingerprints and technological data were subjected to the canonical correspondence and correlation analyses. The number of separated biological processes realized in the treatment line and the presence of industrial wastewater in the influent were the key factors determining the species structure of total and ammonia-oxidizing bacteria in biomass. The N2O-reducers community composition depended significantly on the design of the facility; the highest species richness of denitrifiers was noted in the WWTPs with separated denitrification tanks. The contribution of industrial streams to the inflow affected the diversity of total and denitrifying bacterial consortia and diminished the diversity of ammonia oxidizers. The obtained data are valuable for engineers since they revealed the main factors, including the design of wastewater treatment plant, influencing the microbial groups critical for the stability of purification processes.
Project description:To understand the relationship between elevation and bacterial communities in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), bacterial communities in 21 municipal WWTPs across China, located 9 to 3,660 m above sea level (masl), were investigated by 454 pyrosequencing. A threshold for the association of elevation with bacterial community richness and evenness was observed at approximately 1,200 masl. At lower elevations, both richness and evenness were not significantly associated with elevation. At higher elevations, significant declines with increased elevations were observed for community richness and evenness. The declining evenness trend at the phylum level was reflected by distinct trends in relative abundance for individual bacterial phyla. Betaproteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Firmicutes displayed significant increases, while most other phyla showed declines. Spearman correlation analysis indicated that the community richness and evenness at high elevations were more correlated with elevation than with any other single environmental variable. Redundancy analysis indicated that the contribution of elevation to community composition variances increased from 3% at lower elevations to 11% at higher elevations whereas the community composition variance at higher elevations remained much more explained by operational variables (39.2%) than by elevation. The influent total phosphorus concentration, food/microorganism ratio, and treatment process were the three shared dominant contributors to the community composition variance across the whole elevation gradient, followed by effluent ammonia nitrogen and temperature at higher elevations.
Project description:Wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) contain high density and diversity of viruses which can significantly impact microbial communities in aquatic systems. While previous studies have investigated viruses in WWTP samples that have been specifically concentrated for viruses and filtered to exclude bacteria, little is known about viral communities associated with bacterial communities throughout wastewater treatment systems. Additionally, differences in viral composition between attached and suspended growth wastewater treatment bioprocesses are not well characterized. Here, shotgun metagenomics was used to analyse wastewater and biomass from transects through two full-scale WWTPs for viral composition and associations with bacterial hosts. One WWTP used a suspended growth activated sludge bioreactor and the other used a biofilm reactor (trickling filter). Myoviridae, Podoviridae and Siphoviridae were the dominant viral families throughout both WWTPs, which are all from the order Caudovirales. Beta diversity analysis of viral sequences showed that samples clustered significantly both by plant and by specific sampling location. For each WWTP, the overall bacterial community structure was significantly different than community structure of bacterial taxa associated with viral sequences. These findings highlight viral community composition in transects through different WWTPs and provide context for dsDNA viral sequences in bacterial communities from these systems.
Project description: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 ?- and ?-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 ?- or ?-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.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Biological activated sludge process must be functionally stable to continuously remove contaminants while relying upon the activity of complex microbial communities. However the dynamics of these communities are as yet poorly understood. A macroecology metric used to quantify community dynamic is the taxa-time relationship (TTR). Although the TTR of animal and plant species has been well documented, knowledge is still lacking in regard to TTR of microbial communities in activated sludge bioreactors. AIMS: 1) To characterize the temporal dynamics of bacterial taxa in activated sludge from two bioreactors of different scale and investigate factors affecting such dynamics; 2) to evaluate the TTRs of activated sludge microbial communities in two bioreactors of different scale. METHODS: Temporal variation of bacterial taxa in activated sludge collected from a full- and lab-scale activated sludge bioreactor was monitored over a one-year period using pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA genes. TTR was employed to quantify the bacterial taxa shifts based on the power law equation S?=?cTw. RESULTS: The power law exponent w for the full-scale bioreactor was 0.43 (R2?=?0.970), which is lower than that of the lab-scale bioreactor (w?=?0.55, R2?=?0.971). The exponents for the dominant phyla were generally higher than that of the rare phyla. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) result showed that the bacterial community variance was significantly associated with water temperature, influent (biochemical oxygen demand) BOD, bioreactor scale and dissolved oxygen (DO). Variance partitioning analyses suggested that wastewater characteristics had the greatest contribution to the bacterial community variance, explaining 20.3% of the variance of bacterial communities independently, followed by operational parameters (19.9%) and bioreactor scale (3.6%). CONCLUSIONS: Results of this study suggest bacterial community dynamics were likely driven partly by wastewater and operational parameters and provide evidence that the TTR may be a fundamental ecological pattern in macro- and microbial systems.