Bacterial community structure in geographically distributed biological wastewater treatment reactors. Academic Article uri icon


  • Current knowledge of the microbial communities within biological wastewater treatment reactors is incomplete due to limitations of traditional culture-based techniques and despite the emergence of recently applied molecular techniques. Here we demonstrate the application of high-density microarrays targeting universal 16S rRNA genes to evaluate microbial community composition in five biological wastewater treatment reactors in China and the United States. Results suggest a surprisingly consistent composition of microbial community structure among all five reactors. All investigated communities contained a core of bacterial phyla (53-82% of 2119 taxa identified) with almost identical compositions (as determined by colinearity analysis). These core species were distributed widely in terms of abundance but their proportions were virtually the same in all samples. Proteobacteria was the largest phylum and Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes were the subdominant phyla. The diversity among the samples can be attributed solely to a group of operational taxonomic units (OTUs) that were detected only in specific samples. Typically, these organisms ranked somewhat lower in terms of abundance but a few were present is much higher proportions.

published proceedings

  • Environ Sci Technol

author list (cited authors)

  • Xia, S., Duan, L., Song, Y., Li, J., Piceno, Y. M., Andersen, G. L., ... Hermanowicz, S. W.

citation count

  • 165

complete list of authors

  • Xia, Siqing||Duan, Liang||Song, Yonghui||Li, Jixiang||Piceno, Yvette M||Andersen, Gary L||Alvarez-Cohen, Lisa||Moreno-Andrade, Ivan||Huang, Chun-Lin||Hermanowicz, Slawomir W

publication date

  • October 2010