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Bioresour Technol. 2013 Jan;127:151-7. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2012.09.098. Epub 2012 Oct 4.

Enrichment and characterization of a bacteria consortium capable of heterotrophic nitrification and aerobic denitrification at low temperature.

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  • 1Department of Environmental Engineering, Peking University, The Key Laboratory of Water and Sediment Sciences, Ministry of Education, Beijing 100871, China.


Nitrogen removal in wastewater treatment plants is usually severely inhibited under cold temperature. The present study proposes bioaugmentation using psychrotolerant heterotrophic nitrification-aerobic denitrification consortium to enhance nitrogen removal at low temperature. A functional consortium has been successfully enriched by stepped increase in DO concentration. Using this consortium, the specific removal rates of ammonia and nitrate at 10 °C reached as high as 3.1 mg N/(gSSh) and 9.6 mg N/(gSSh), respectively. PCR-DGGE and clone library analysis both indicated a significant reduction in bacterial diversity during enrichment. Phylogenetic analysis based on nearly full-length 16S rRNA genes showed that Alphaproteobacteria, Deltaproteobacteria and particularly Bacteroidetes declined while Gammaproteobacteria (all clustered into Pseudomonas sp.) and Betaproteobacteria (mainly Rhodoferax ferrireducens) became dominant in the enriched consortium. It is likely that Pseudomonas spp. played a major role in nitrification and denitrification, while R. ferrireducens and its relatives utilized nitrate as both electron acceptor and nitrogen source.

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