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Diversity of a Chlorine-Resistant Bacillus Population Isolated from a Wastewater Treatment Station

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This paper describes the phenotypic and genotypic diversity of a Gram-positive, aerobic bacterial population isolated from the chlorine tank of a wastewater treatment plant. A total of 12 spore-forming, rod-shaped isolates were identified using 16S rRNA gene sequencing and biochemical tests. Pairwise genetic comparisons revealed the identity among sequences obtained from isolates varied from 92.6 to 100%. Similarity searches on GenBank showed that five strains were closely related (99 to 100% identity) to Bacillus subtilis and two were almost identical (99%) to B. megaterium and B. licheniformis. Because the five remaining strains were either closely related (97 to 99% identity) or identical to B. cereus, B. thuringiensis, and B. anthracis, they were classified as belonging to the B. cereus group. Apart from one strain, all clades in the phylogenetic tree were identical to clusters formed in the dendrogram based on biochemical tests results. According to the biochemical profiles, all isolates were characterized as different strains. In addition to chlorine resistance, all isolates were found to be resistant to at least one of five antibiotics tested. These results identify the potential risk of spreading antibiotic resistance genes in the environment by chlorine-resistant strains of Bacillus.
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Keywords: Bacillus spp; chlorine disinfection; wastewater

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-03-01

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  • Water Environment Research (WER) is published monthly, including an annual Literature Review. A subscription to WER includes access to the latest content back to 1992, as well as access to fast track articles. An individual subscription is valid for 12 months from month of purchase.

    Water Environment Research (WER) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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