Resistance of aerobic granular sludge microbiomes to periodic loss of biomass

Biofilm. 2023 Jul 28;6:100145. doi: 10.1016/j.bioflm.2023.100145. eCollection 2023 Dec 15.


Granular sludge is a biofilm process used for wastewater treatment which is currently being implemented worldwide. It is important to understand how disturbances affect the microbial community and performance of reactors. Here, two acetate-fed replicate reactors were inoculated with acclimatized sludge and the reactor performance, and the granular sludge microbial community succession were studied for 149 days. During this time, the microbial community was challenged by periodically removing half of the reactor biomass, subsequently increasing the food-to-microorganism (F/M) ratio. Diversity analysis together with null models show that overall, the microbial communities were resistant to the disturbances, observing some minor effects on polyphosphate-accumulating and denitrifying microbial communities and their associated reactor functions. Community turnover was driven by drift and random granule loss, and stochasticity was the governing ecological process for community assembly. These results evidence the aerobic granular sludge process as a robust system for wastewater treatment.

PMID:37575957 | PMC:PMC10415711 | DOI:10.1016/j.bioflm.2023.100145


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