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A comparison of autotrophic ammonia-oxidizing bacteria in full- and laboratory-scale wastewater treatment reactors

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Arlene Rowan, Professor Thomas CurtisORCiD, Dr Michael Barer, Professor Ian Head


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Lab-scale reactors are commonly used to simulate full-scale plants as they permit the effects of defined experimental perturbations to be evaluated. Ideally, lab- and full-scale reactors should possess similar microbial populations. To determine this we compared the diversity of the beta-proteobacterial autotrophic ammonia-oxidising bacteria (AOB) in a full-scale and lab-scale biological aerated filter (BAF) using PCR with AOB selective primers combined with denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). FOR amplified 16S rRNA gene fragments from the nitrification unit of the lab-and full-scale BAF were subjected to cloning and sequencing to determine the phylogenetic affiliation of the AOB. A high degree of comparability between the lab-and full-scale BAF was observed with respect to AOB populations. However minor differences were apparent. The importance of these minor constituents in the overall performance of the reactor is unknown. Nonetheless the lab-scale reactor in this study did appear to reflect the dominant AOB community within the full-scale equivalent.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Rowan AK, Snape JR, Fearnside D, Curtis TP, Barer MR, Head IM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Water Science and Technology

Year: 2002

Volume: 46

Issue: 1-2

Pages: 319-322

ISSN (print): 0273-1223

ISSN (electronic):

Publisher: IWA Publishing