Get access
Advertisement

Perturbation-independent community development in low-temperature anaerobic biological wastewater treatment bioreactors

Authors

  • Pádhraig Madden,

    1. Microbial Ecology Laboratory, Department of Microbiology, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland; telephone: +353 (0) 91 493734; fax: +353 (0) 91 494598
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Fabio A. Chinalia,

    1. Microbial Ecology Laboratory, Department of Microbiology, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland; telephone: +353 (0) 91 493734; fax: +353 (0) 91 494598
    Current affiliation:
    1. Centre for Resource Management and Efficiency, School of Applied Science, Cranfield University, College Road, Cranfield, Bedfordshire MK43 0AL, UK.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Anne-Marie Enright,

    1. Microbial Ecophysiology Research Group, Department of Microbiology and Environmental Change Institute, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Gavin Collins,

    1. Microbial Ecophysiology Research Group, Department of Microbiology and Environmental Change Institute, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Vincent O'Flaherty

    Corresponding author
    1. Microbial Ecology Laboratory, Department of Microbiology, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland; telephone: +353 (0) 91 493734; fax: +353 (0) 91 494598
    • Microbial Ecology Laboratory, Department of Microbiology, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland; telephone: +353 (0) 91 493734; fax: +353 (0) 91 494598.
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

The reproducibility and stability of low- temperature anaerobic wastewater treatment systems undergoing transient perturbations was investigated. Three identical anaerobic expanded granular sludge bed-based bioreactors were used to degrade a volatile fatty acid and glucose-based wastewater under sub-ambient (15°C) conditions. The effect of a variety of environmental perturbations on bioreactor performance was assessed by chemical oxygen demand removal. Temporal microbial community development was monitored by denaturation gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) of 16S rRNA genes extracted from sludge granules. Methanogenic activity was monitored using specific methanogenic activity assays. Bioreactor performance and microbial population dynamics were each well replicated between both experimental bioreactors and the control bioreactor prior to, and after the implementation of most of the applied perturbations. Gene fingerprinting data indicated that Methanosaeta sp. were the persistent, keystone members of the archaeal community, and likely were pivotal for the physical stability and maintenance of the granular biofilms. Cluster analyses of DGGE data suggested that temporal shifts in microbial community structure were predominantly independent of the applied perturbations. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2010;105: 79–87. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Get access to the full text of this article

Ancillary