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Roles and correlations of functional bacteria and genes in the start-up of simultaneous anammox and denitrification system for enhanced nitrogen removal

Wang, Depeng, Li, Tong, Huang, Kailong, He, Xiwei, Zhang, Xu-Xiang
The Science of the total environment 2019 v.655 pp. 1355-1363
Armatimonadetes, Pseudomonas, Thermomonas, anaerobic ammonium oxidation, bacteria, denitrification, genes, high-throughput nucleotide sequencing, microbial communities, nitrate reductase, nitrate reduction, nitrite reductase, nitrogen, ribosomal RNA, sludge, total nitrogen, upflow anaerobic sludge blanket reactor, wastewater treatment
Simultaneous anammox and denitrification (SAD) is a newly developed wastewater treatment process efficient in nitrogen removal, but its underlying microbiological mechanisms during start-up remains unknown. This study investigated the changing patterns of functional bacteria and genes, as well as their correlation during the start-up (260 d) of the SAD systems in two lab-scale up-flow anaerobic sludge blanket bioreactors separately inoculated with anaerobic granular sludge (R1) and aerobic floccular sludge (R2). Results showed that high total nitrogen removal was achieved in the SAD systems of both R1 (88.25%) and R2 (89.42%). High-throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons revealed that Armatimonadetes phylum had a high abundance (44.34%) in R2, while was not detectable in R1 during the anammox stage. However, the SAD bioreactors retained inherent microbial community and the inoculation with different sludge showed less notable effects on their microbial composition. In the SAD systems, Candidatus Brocadia had high abundance in R1 (2.93%) and R2 (4.64%) and played important role in anammox. Network analysis indicated that Denitratisoma and Dokdonella were positively correlated with nitrite reductase genes nirS and nirK (p < 0.05), while Thermomonas and Pseudomonas showing a positive correlation with nitrate reductase gene narG (p < 0.05) were mainly responsible for the nitrate reduction in the SAD systems. Moreover, the overwhelming dominance of narG v.s. napA revealed the crucial roles of respiratory nitrate reduction in the bioreactors. The results extend our knowledge regarding the microbial ecology of the SAD system, which might be practically helpful for application of the process in wastewater treatment.