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Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part A: Toxic/Hazardous Substances and Environmental Engineering
Vol. 50(2); 2015; Pages: 169-179

Identification and quantification of bacteria and archaea responsible for ammonia oxidation in different activated sludge of full-scale wastewater treatment plants

Nutpornnapat Sinthusith, Akihiko Terad , Martha Hahncd, Pongsak (Lek) Noophana, Junko Munakata-Marrd & Linda A. Figueroa

Department of Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Kasetsart University, Bangkok, Thailand


In this study, the abundance and sequences of the amoA gene in ammonia oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and ammonia oxidizing archaea (AOA) were defined in three wastewater treatment plants using activated sludge with biological nitrogen removal in different countries: Thailand, United States of America (USA), and Japan. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and PCR coupled with denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis were used to find the comparative abundance and identity of AOB and AOA. The conditions at the Phuket WWTP in Thailand promoted the dominance of AOA amoA genes over AOB amoA genes, while conditions at the WWTPs in Japan and USA promoted growth of AOB. Three parameters that may have contributed to the AOA dominance in Phuket were longer SRT, higher temperature, and higher pH. The Phuket WWTP is a unique system that can be used to better understand the conditions that promote AOA growth and dominance over AOB. In addition, analysis of operational data in conjunction with AOA and AOB community structure from the Phuket WWTP may elucidate advantages of AOA in meeting stricter treatment standards.

Keywords: Ammonia-oxidizing bacteria, ammonia-oxidizing archaea, amoA gene, activated sludge with biological nitrogen removal


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