Abundance of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and archaea in industrial and domestic wastewater treatment systems

Yaohui Bai, Qinghua Sun, Donghui Wen, Xiaoyan Tang
FEMS Microbiology Ecology 2012, 80 (2): 323-30
Nitrification plays a significant role in the global nitrogen cycle. Ammonia oxidation, the first step of nitrification, is performed in wastewater treatment by both ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA). Most previous studies focused on their distribution in natural environments. In this study we qualified and quantified AOB, AOA, total bacteria, and total archaea in six different wastewater treatment systems (WTSs) using clone library and real-time PCR techniques. The results revealed that wastewater quality was an essential factor for the distribution of AOB and AOA in aerobic reactors. Although both AOB and AOA were present in all samples and contributed to nitrification simultaneously, AOB were the dominant nitrifiers in the three industrial WTSs, whereas AOA were dominant in the three domestic WTSs. This indicates AOA may be more sensitive to some toxic compounds than AOB. In addition, the dominant groups of AOB in the industrial WTSs were Nitrosomonas and Nitrosospira; the composition of AOA in the domestic WTSs was very similar, possibly due to the same source of raw sewage.

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