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Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2011 Aug;91(4):1215-25. doi: 10.1007/s00253-011-3408-y. Epub 2011 Jun 25.

Ammonia-oxidizing archaea and ammonia-oxidizing bacteria in six full-scale wastewater treatment bioreactors.

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Environmental Biotechnology Laboratory, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China.


In this study, dideoxy sequencing and 454 high-throughput sequencing were used to analyze diversities of the ammonia monooxygenase (amoA) genes and the 16S rRNA genes of ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) and ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) in six municipal wastewater treatment plants. The results showed that AOB amoA genes were quite diverse in different wastewater treatment plants while the 16S rRNA genes were relatively conserved. Based on the observed complexity of amoA and 16S rRNA genes, most of the AOB can be assigned to the Nitrosomonas genus, with Nitrosomonas ureae, Nitrosomonas oligotropha, Nitrosomonas marina, and Nitrosomonas aestuarii being the four most dominant species. From the sequences of the AOA amoA genes, most AOA observed in this study belong to the CGI.1b group, i.e., the soil lineage. The AOB amoA and 16S rRNA genes were quantified by quantitative PCR and 454 high-throughput pyrosequencing, respectively. Although the results from the two approaches show some disconcordance, they both indicated that the abundance of AOB in activated sludge was very low.

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