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Membrane fouling presents the greatest challenge to the application of membrane bioreactor MBR technology. Formation of biofilms on the membrane surface is the suggested cause, yet little is known of the composition or dynamics of the microbial community responsible. To gain an insight into this important question, we applied 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing with a curated taxonomy and fluorescent in situ hybridization to monitor the community of a pilot-scale MBR carrying out enhanced biological nitrogen and phosphorus removal with municipal wastewater. In order to track the dynamics of the fouling process, we concurrently investigated the communities of the biofilm, MBR bulk sludge, and the conventional activated sludge system used to seed the MBR system over several weeks from start-up. As the biofilm matured the initially abundant betaproteobacterial genera Limnohabitans, Hydrogenophaga and Malikia were succeeded by filamentous Chloroflexi and Gordonia as the abundant species. This study indicates that, although putative pioneer species appear, the biofilm became increasingly similar to the bulk community with time. This suggests that the microbial population in bulk water will largely determine the community structure of the mature biofilm.

Autor: Anja S. Ziegler, Simon J. McIlroy, Poul Larsen, Mads Albertsen, Aviaja A. Hansen, Nicolas Heinen, Per Halkjær Nielsen

Fuente: http://plos.srce.hr/


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