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Roles of quorum sensing in biological wastewater treatment: A critical review

Maddela, Naga Raju, Sheng, Binbin, Yuan, Shasha, Zhou, Zhongbo, Villamar-Torres, Ronald, Meng, Fangang
Chemosphere 2019 v.221 pp. 616-629
bacteria, biofilm, biofouling, biotransformation, niches, phenotype, pollutants, quorum sensing, wastewater treatment
Quorum sensing (QS) and quorum quenching (QQ) are increasingly reported in biological wastewater treatment processes because of their inherent roles in biofilm development, bacterial aggregation, granulation, colonization, and biotransformation of pollutants. As such, the fundamentals and ubiquitous nature of QS bacteria are critical for fully understanding the process of the wastewater treatment system. In this article, the details of QS-based strategies related to community behaviors and phenotypes in wastewater treatment systems were reviewed. The molecular aspects and coexistence of QS and QQ bacteria were also mentioned, which provide evidence that future wastewater treatment will indispensably rely on QS-based strategies. In addition, recent attempts focusing on the use of QQ for biofilm or biofouling control were also summarized. Nevertheless, there are still several challenges and knowledge gaps that warrant future targeted research on the ecological niche, abundance, and community of QS- and QQ-bacteria in environmental settings or engineered systems.