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Nitrification is one of the most susceptible processes in wastewater treatment to upset by shock loads of toxic chemicals. Previous experiments have shown that nitrification in activated sludge proved to be especially susceptible to oxidative chemical toxins. This work investigates the role of the glutathione gated potassium efflux oxidative stress response mechanism in nitrifying bacteria. Experiments were performed using a nitrifying enrichment culture and pure cultures of the ammonia oxidizing bacterium Nitrosomonas europaea and the nitrite oxidizing bacterium Nitrospira moscoviensis. For these experiments, soluble potassium levels were monitored to observe increases associated with the glutathione gated potassium efflux mechanism. Results using the enrichment culture were inconclusive, probably because of the mixed bacterial population present. Results using the pure cultures of nitrifying bacteria suggest that neither the Nitrosomonas europaea nor the Nitrospira moscoviensis efflux potassium in response to the oxidative chemical N-ethylmaleimide. Both appeared to release potassium in response to the ionophore nigericin. Coupled with known genomic information, the results of this study provide greater insight into why nitrification is one of the most susceptible processes in biological wastewater treatment.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2004-01-01

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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