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Communities of Ammonia-oxidizing Archaea and Bacteria in Enriched Nitrifying Activated Sludge

Authors: Puntipar Sonthiphand, Tawan Limpiyakorn


In this study, communities of ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) and ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) in nitrifying activated sludge (NAS) prepared by enriching sludge from a municipal wastewater treatment plant in three continuous-flow reactors receiving an inorganic medium containing different ammonium concentrations of 2, 10, and 30 mM NH4 +-N (NAS2, NAS10, and NAS30, respectively) were investigated using molecular analysis. Results suggested that almost all AOA clones from NAS2, NAS10, and NAS30 fell into the same AOA cluster and AOA communities in NAS2 and NAS10 were more diverse than those of NAS30. In contrast to AOA, AOB communities obviously shifted from the seed sludge to enriched NASs and in each enriched NAS, communities of AOB varied particularly. The seed sludge contained members of N. communis cluster and N. oligotropha cluster. After it was enriched under various ammonium loads, members of N. communis cluster disappeared from all enriched NASs. AOB with high affinity to ammonia presented in NAS 2, AOB with low affinity to ammonia presented in NAS 30, and both types of AOB survived in NAS 10. These demonstrated that ammonium load significantly influenced AOB communities, but not AOA communities in enriched NASs.

Keywords: ammonia-oxidizing bacteria, ammonia-oxidizingarchaea, nitrifying activated sludge.

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