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Bioresour Technol. 2005 Jul;96(11):1205-14. Epub 2005 Jan 1.

Microbial community analysis and performance of a phosphate-removing activated sludge.

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Environmental Biotechnology Laboratory, Department of Civil Engineering, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong.


The microbial community of a phosphate-removing activated sludge was analyzed according to the extracted 16S rDNA sequences. The sludge, which accumulated 5.6% P by weight, was obtained from a sequencing batch reactor treating a fatty-acid rich wastewater containing 108 mg l(-1) total organic carbon (TOC), 14.0 mg l(-1) N and 16.2 mg l(-1) P. The reactor at 25 degrees C and pH 7.6 removed over 96% TOC and 99.9% P from the wastewater. According to the 16S rDNA analysis of the 114 clones developed, the sludge had a diverse population, mainly comprising Proteobacteria (71.0%) and the Cytophaga Flavobacterium Bacteroides group (23.7%), plus a few species of Planctomycetales (2.6%), Verrucomicrobiales (1.8%) and Firmicutes (0.9%). Of the 114 clones, 36 (31.6%) were closely affiliated with Acinetobacter. However, Acinetobacter did not accumulate phosphate judging from the images of sludge samples hybridized with an Acinetobacter-specific probe and stained with a phosphate-specific dye. The identities of the phosphate-removing bacteria remain unclear.

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