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Laboratory experiments were completed to demonstrate anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) activity in soils and to identify the microorganisms believed to be responsible for the observed anammox activity. Soils were obtained from Soil Aquifer Treatment (SAT) systems where reclaimed municipal wastewater was applied to the soils in a controlled manner and nitrogen removal was being observed. Electron balances on the systems demonstrated that there was insufficient organic carbon to support heterotrophic denitrification as a sustainable removal mechanism. Results from serum bottle batch tests indicate nitrogen removal in soil systems may be sustained by anaerobic ammonium oxidation when there is insufficient organic carbon to sustain heterotrophic denitrification. The long-term operation of soil columns demonstrated that the adsorbed ammonia is bioavailable and serves as a reservoir of electron donor to promote the conversion of nitrate to nitrogen gas. The soil-extracted DNA was amplified in a nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequenced. A Planctomycete microorganism was identified with a 450-bp region of DNA that is up to 98% similar to anammox-type Planctomycete sequences reported by other researchers.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2003-01-01

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