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The suitability of genes encoding polyphosphate kinase (ppk) as genetic markers for enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) was investigated. The enzyme PPK is thought to be responsible for polyphosphate accumulation during EBPR. Gene fragment clone libraries were constructed from four full-scale activated sludges, three of which were performing EBPR. These libraries were screened for unique sequence types, and representative gene fragments were sequenced. Extensive phylogenetic analyses were carried out to confirm that ppk sequences similar to those found in laboratory scale sequencing batch reactors were also found in full-scale EBPR sludges, but not in activated sludge from a conventional completely aerobic process. The successful detection of nearly identical (99% DNA sequence identity) sequences in the full-scale EBPR sludges suggests that this sequence type could be used as a highly specific genetic marker for EBPR organisms.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2003-01-01

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