Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Water Res. 2013 Dec 1;47(19):7019-31. doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2013.07.054. Epub 2013 Oct 23.

Seasonal bacterial community dynamics in a full-scale enhanced biological phosphorus removal plant.

Author information

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98105, USA; Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706, USA. Electronic address:


Activated sludge is one of the most abundant and effective wastewater treatment process used to treat wastewater, and has been used in developed countries for nearly a century. In all that time, several hundreds of studies have explored the bacterial communities responsible for treatment, but most studies were based on a handful of samples and did not consider temporal dynamics. In this study, we used the DNA fingerprinting technique called automated ribosomal intergenic spacer region analysis (ARISA) to study bacterial community dynamics over a two-year period in two different treatment trains. We also used quantitative PCR to measure the variation of five phylogenetically-defined clades within the Accumulibacter lineage, which is a model polyphosphate accumulating organism. The total bacterial community exhibited seasonal patterns of change reminiscent of those observed in lakes and oceans. Surprisingly, all five Accumulibacter clades were present throughout the study, and the total Accumulibacter community was relatively stable. However, the abundance of each clade did fluctuate through time. Clade IIA dynamics correlated positively with temperature (ρ = 0.65, p < 0.05) while Clade IA dynamics correlated negatively with temperature (ρ = -0.35, p < 0.05). This relationship with temperature hints at the mechanisms that may be driving the seasonal patterns in overall bacterial community dynamics and provides further evidence for ecological differentiation among clades within the Accumulibacter lineage. This work provides a valuable baseline for activated sludge bacterial community variation.


Activated sludge; Enhanced biological phosphorus removal; “Candidatus Accumulibacter phosphatis”

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center