Characterization of the genes involved in nitrogen cycling in wastewater treatment plants using DNA microarray and most probable number-PCR
. Division of Sustainable Energy and Environmental Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University, 2-1 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan.
.. International Research Centre for River Basin Environment, University of Yamanashi, 4-3-11 Takeda, Kofu, Yamanashi 400-8511, Japan
Nitrogen-cycling microbial communities in municipal WWTPs were characterized. Numbers of , and genes were quantified by MPN-PCR. Diversity of whole nitrogen-cycling communities was analyzed with DNA microarray. CAS process retained diverse nitrogen cycling populations. Specific, limited populations may be dominated in nitrogen removal processes. To improve nitrogen removal performance of wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), it is essential to understand the behavior of nitrogen cycling communities, which comprise various microorganisms. This study characterized the quantity and diversity of nitrogen cycling genes in various processes of municipal WWTPs by employing two molecular-based methods:most probable number-polymerase chain reaction (MPN-PCR) and DNA microarray. MPN-PCR analysis revealed that gene quantities were not statistically different among processes, suggesting that conventional activated sludge processes (CAS) are similar to nitrogen removal processes in their ability to retain an adequate population of nitrogen cycling microorganisms. Furthermore, most processes in the WWTPs that were researched shared a pattern:the and the bacterial genes were more abundant than the and archaeal genes, respectively. DNA microarray analysis revealed that several kinds of nitrification and denitrification genes were detected in both CAS and anaerobic-oxic processes (AO), whereas limited genes were detected in nitrogen removal processes. Results of this study suggest that CAS maintains a diverse community of nitrogen cycling microorganisms; moreover, the microbial communities in nitrogen removal processes may be specific.