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Bacterial community structure within an activated sludge reactor added with phenolic compounds

Gómez-Acata, Selene, Esquivel-Ríos, Ivonne, Pérez-Sandoval, Mariana Vivian, Navarro-Noya, Yendi, Rojas-Valdez, Aketzally, Thalasso, Frederic, Luna-Guido, Marco, Dendooven, Luc
Applied microbiology and biotechnology 2017 v.101 no.8 pp. 3405-3414
2-chlorophenol, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Brevundimonas, DNA, Firmicutes, activated sludge, bacterial communities, biodegradation, bioreactors, community structure, genes, glass, inoculum, metagenomics, ribosomal RNA
Biodegradation of phenolic compounds in bioreactors is well documented, but the changes in the bacterial populations dynamics during degradation were not that often. A glass bubble column used as reactor was inoculated with activated sludge, spiked with 2-chlorophenol, phenol and m-cresol after 28 days and maintained for an additional 56 days, while the 16S rRNA gene from metagenomic DNA was monitored. Proteobacteria (68.1%) dominated the inoculum, but the bacterial composition changed rapidly. The relative abundance of Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes decreased from 4.8 and 9.4 to <0.1 and 0.2% respectively, while that of Actinobacteria and TM7 increased from 4.8 and 2.0 to 19.2 and 16.1% respectively. Phenol application increased the relative abundance of Proteobacteria to 94.2% (mostly Brevundimonas 17.6%), while that of Bacteroidetes remained low (1.2%) until day 42. It then increased to 47.3% (mostly Leadbetterella 46.9%) at day 84. It was found that addition of phenolic compounds did not affect the relative abundance of the Alphaproteobacteria initially, but it decreased slowly while that of the Bacteroidetes increased towards the end.