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In Situ Identification and Quantification of Bioaugmentation Products in Wastewater Treatment Facilities

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Bioaugmentation of wastewater treatment processes has gained greater industrial support recently. Until recently, there has been no way to quantify the presence and activity of the exogenous organisms added to the complex wastewater treatment communities. Current In Situ microbial identification methods are focused on 16S rDNA-based methods and include fluorescence In Situ hybridization (FISH) which offers insight into microbial community dynamics. However, this cannot be reliably used to distinguish between closely related organisms and lacks sensitivity. While end-point PCR is a sensitive alternative, it lacks the specificity needed to accurately identify individual microbial strains such as those added in bioaugmentation schemes. In order to identify and quantify a specific exogenous strain in complex communities, a combination of microbial strain-specific quantitative PCR (qPCR) and a recent advancement in FISH technologies, Recognition of INdividual Gene-FISH (RING-FISH), has been employed. The combination of techniques is highly specific, sensitive and quantitative and can be used to both monitor the presence and integration of bioaugmentation products in wastewater treatment.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2011

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