Quantification and Characterization of Ammonia-Oxidizing Bacteria in Intermittent Cycle Extended Aeration Systems

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The purpose of this study was to use molecular techniques to quantify and characterize ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) communities in several Intermittent Cycle Extended Aeration Systems (ICEAS®), and examine whether there are relationships between AOB community structure and system operational parameters and performance. Total AOB
concentrations measured at four plants ranged from 1.6×109 - 8.9×109 gene copies/L, with the specific detection of 4.6×107 - 6.1×108 for Nitrosomonas europaea, 5.5×106 - 2.3×108 for  Nitrosomonas oligotropha, and 2.9×107 - 8.9×108 for Nitrosospira sp. By difference between total AOB and these three specifically targeted groups, other AOB types were dominant in all of the plants except one. According to clone library results from each plant, two of the systems were dominated by Nitrosomonas urea-like AOB and one was dominated by Nitrosomonas nitrosa-like AOB. The highest copies of Nitrosomonas oligotropha, comprising 10% of the total AOB community, were observed at the plant with the lowest ammonia loading and effluent concentration, while Nitrosomonas urea-like AOB were dominant at the plant with the highest ammonia loading and effluent concentration.

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