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J Appl Microbiol. 2004;96(5):954-64.

Phylogenetic diversity of drinking water bacteria in a distribution system simulator.

Author information

1
U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, NRMRL/WSWRD/MCCB, Cincinnati, OH 45268, USA.

Abstract

AIMS:

To characterize the composition of microbial populations in a distribution system simulator (DSS) by direct sequence analysis of 16S rDNA clone libraries.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

Bacterial populations were examined in chlorinated distribution water and chloraminated DSS feed and discharge water. Bacterial strains isolated from DSS discharge water on R2A medium were identified using 16S rDNA sequence analysis. The majority of the bacteria identified were alpha-proteobacteria, ranging from approx. 34% in the DSS discharge water to 94% of the DSS isolates. Species richness estimators Chao1 and ACE (abundance-based coverage estimators) indicated that the chlorinated distribution water sample was representative of the total population diversity, while the chloraminated DSS feed water sample was dominated by Hyphomicrobium sp. sequences. The DSS discharge water contained the greatest diversity of alpha-, beta-, gamma-proteobacteria, with 36% of the sequences being operational taxonomic units (OTUs, sequences with >97.0% homology).

CONCLUSIONS:

This work demonstrated the dominance of alpha-proteobacteria in distribution system water under two different disinfectant residuals. The shift from chlorine to monochloramine residual may have played a role in bacterial population dynamics.

SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY:

Accurate identification of bacteria present in treated drinking water is needed in order to better determine the risk of regrowth of potentially pathogenic organisms within distribution systems.

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