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Shotgun Metagenomic Profiles Have a High Capacity To Discriminate Samples of Activated Sludge According to Wastewater Type.


ABSTRACT: 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.

SUBMITTER: Ibarbalz FM 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC4988215 | BioStudies | 2016-01-01

SECONDARY ACCESSION(S): SRP060024

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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