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Title: Impact of Substratum Surface on Microbial Community Structure and Treatment Performance in Biological Aerated Filters
Authors: Lavane, Kim
Zuo, Yi Y.
Pagaling, Eulyn
Yan, Tao
Issue Date: 2014
Series/Report no.: Applied and Environmental Microbiology;80 .- p.177-183
Abstract: The impact of substratum surface property change on biofilm community structure was investigated using laboratory biological aerated filter (BAF) reactors and molecular microbial community analysis. Two substratum surfaces that differed in surface properties were created via surface coating and used to develop biofilms in test (modified surface) and control (original surface) BAF reactors. Microbial community analysis by 16S rRNA gene-based PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) showed that the surface property change consistently resulted in distinct profiles of microbial populations during replicate reactor start-ups. Pyrosequencing of the bar-coded 16S rRNA gene amplicons surveyed more than 90% of the microbial diversity in the microbial communities and identified 72 unique bacterial species within 19 bacterial orders. Among the 19 orders of bacteria detected, Burkholderiales and Rhodocyclales of the Betaproteobacteria class were numerically dominant and accounted for 90.5 to 97.4% of the sequence reads, and their relative abundances in the test and control BAF reactors were different in consistent patterns during the two reactor start-ups. Three of the five dominant bacterial species also showed consistent relative abundance changes between the test and control BAF reactors. The different biofilm microbial communities led to different treatment efficiencies, with consistently higher total organic carbon (TOC) removal in the test reactor than in the control reactor. Further understanding of how surface properties affect biofilm microbial communities and functional performance would enable the rational design of new generations of substrata for the improvement of biofilm-based biological treatment processes.
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