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Comprehensive insights into the key components of bacterial assemblages in pharmaceutical wastewater treatment plants

Zhao, Fuzheng, Ju, Feng, Huang, Kailong, Mao, Yanping, Zhang, Xu-Xiang, Ren, Hongqiang, Zhang, Tong
The Science of the total environment 2019 v.651 pp. 2148-2157
Synergistetes, Thermotogae, antibiotics, bacterial communities, community structure, genes, meta-analysis, microorganisms, multidimensional scaling, multivariate analysis, municipal wastewater, ribosomal RNA, sludge, wastewater treatment
Due to complexity and variety of pharmaceutical wastewater composition, little is known as for functionally important microflora of pharmaceutical wastewater treatment plants (pWWTPs). We compared bacterial composition and diversity of pWWTPs (27 sludge samples collected from 12 full-scale pWWTPs) with those of other industrial (iWWTPs) (27 samples) and municipal wastewater treatment plants (mWWTPs) (27 samples) through meta-analysis based on 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing, and identified putatively important organisms and their ecological correlations. Non-metric multidimensional scaling indicated that the pWWTPs, iWWTPs and mWWTPs showed distinctive differences in bacterial community composition (P < 1e−04), and the pWWTPs had significantly lower bacterial diversity than the mWWTPs (P < 1e−06). Thermotogae and Synergistetes phyla only strictly dominated in the pWWTPs, and 26, 30 and 6 specific genera were identified in the pWWTPs, mWWTPs and iWWTPs, respectively. Totally, 15 and 1300 OTUs were identified as core and occasional groups, representing 23.2% and 66.2% of the total read abundance of the pWWTPs, respectively. Permutational multivariate analysis of variance revealed that the bacterial components were clearly clustered corresponding to the types of pharmaceutical wastewater, and a total of 129 local specific OTUs were identified in the pWWTPs, among which anticancer antibiotics pWWTPs had the highest number of specific OTUs (40 ones). Co-occurrence network revealed that the species dominating in the same type of pWWTPs tended to co-occur much more frequently than theoretical random expectation. The results may extend our knowledge regarding the ecological status and correlation of the key microflora in pWWTPs.