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Lookup NU author(s): Dr Mathew Brown,
Professor Thomas CurtisORCiD
This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Nature Publishing Group, 2019.
For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
© 2019, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited. Microorganisms in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) are essential for water purification to protect public and environmental health. However, the diversity of microorganisms and the factors that control it are poorly understood. Using a systematic global-sampling effort, we analysed the 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequences from ~1,200 activated sludge samples taken from 269 WWTPs in 23 countries on 6 continents. Our analyses revealed that the global activated sludge bacterial communities contain ~1 billion bacterial phylotypes with a Poisson lognormal diversity distribution. Despite this high diversity, activated sludge has a small, global core bacterial community (n = 28 operational taxonomic units) that is strongly linked to activated sludge performance. Meta-analyses with global datasets associate the activated sludge microbiomes most closely to freshwater populations. In contrast to macroorganism diversity, activated sludge bacterial communities show no latitudinal gradient. Furthermore, their spatial turnover is scale-dependent and appears to be largely driven by stochastic processes (dispersal and drift), although deterministic factors (temperature and organic input) are also important. Our findings enhance our mechanistic understanding of the global diversity and biogeography of activated sludge bacterial communities within a theoretical ecology framework and have important implications for microbial ecology and wastewater treatment processes.
Author(s): Wu L, Ning D, Zhang B, Li Y, Zhang P, Shan X, Zhang Q, Brown MR, Li Z, Van Nostrand JD, Ling F, Xiao N, Zhang Y, Wells GF, Yang Y, Deng Y, Tu Q, Wang A, Global Water Microbiome Consortium, Zhang T, He Z, Keller J, Nielsen PH, Alvarez PJJ, Criddle CS, Wagner M, Tiedje JM, He Q, Curtis TP, Stahl DA, Alvarez-Cohen L, Rittmann BE, Wen X, Zhou J
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Nature Microbiology
Online publication date: 13/05/2019
Acceptance date: 08/03/2019
Date deposited: 03/06/2019
ISSN (electronic): 2058-5276
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
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