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Denitrification performance and microbial versatility in response to different selection pressures

Pishgar, Roya, Dominic, John Albino, Sheng, Zhiya, Tay, Joo Hwa
Bioresource technology 2019 v.281 pp. 72-83
Acinetobacter, Arcobacter, Comamonas, Flavobacterium, Pseudomonas, Thauera, Zoogloea, ammonium nitrogen, biodiversity, biomass, denitrification, denitrifying microorganisms, microbial communities, nitrate nitrogen, nitrates, nitrification, nitrite nitrogen, nitrites, nitrogen, nitrogen oxides, selection pressure
This study investigated functional dynamics of microbial community in response to different selection pressures, with a focus on denitrification. Suspended-biomass experiments demonstrated limited aerobic and relatively higher anoxic nitrate and nitrite reduction capabilities; the highest NO2-N and NO3-N removal rates were 1.3 ± 0.1 and 0.74 ± 0.01 in aerobic and 1.4 ± 0.05 and 3.4 ± 0.1 mg/L.h in anoxic media, respectively. Key potential denitrifiers were identified as: (i) complete aerobic denitrifiers: Dokdonella, Flavobacterium, and Ca. Accumulibacter; (ii) complete anoxic denitrifiers: Acinetobacter, Pseudomonas, Arcobacter, and Comamonas; (iii) incomplete nitrite denitrifier: Diaphorobacter (aerobic/anoxic), (iv): incomplete nitrate denitrifiers: Thauera (aerobic/anoxic) and Zoogloea (strictly-aerobic). Granular biomass removed 72 mg/L NH4-N with no NOx− accumulation. Heterotrophic nitrification and aerobic denitrification were proposed as the principal nitrogen removal pathway in granular reactors, potentially performed by two key organisms Thuaera and Flavobacterium. Biodiversity analysis suggested that the selection pressure of nourishment condition was the decisive factor for microbial selection and nitrogen removal mechanism.