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Distribution of Nitrobacter and Nitrospira Communities in an Aerobic Activated Sludge Bioreactor and their Contributions to Nitrite Oxidation

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An analysis of nitrite-oxidizing bacteria in the activated sludge process of a full-scale partially nitrifying wastewater treatment plant revealed Nitrospira and Nitrobacter averaged 1013 cells·L−1 and 1012 cells·L−1, respectively. Correlation coefficients linking shifts in NOB community to operational or environmental variables illustrated Nitrospira were negatively correlated to nitrite (r = −0.45, P<0.01), while Nitrobacter showed no significant relationship to nitrite (P=0.1017). Nitrospira was negative correlation to DO (r=−0.46P >0.01) and positively correlated to temperature (r= 0.59P<0.0001). HoweverNitrobacter was positively correlated to DO (r=0.38P<0.01) and HRT (r=0.33P<0.05), as well as negatively correlated to temperature (r = −0.49, P<0.001) suggesting niche adaptations within the NOB community. The positive association between Nitrobacter and DO supports a selective advantage over Nitrospira in completely nitrifying plants. Given the operational schematic at this WWTPNitrospira contributed more to nitrification than Nitrobacter in this WWTP.

Keywords: Activate Sludge; NOB; Nitrite oxidation; Nitrospira, Nitrobacter; WWTP

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2010-01-01

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