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      Significance ofChloroflexiin Performance of Submerged Membrane Bioreactors (MBR) Treating Municipal Wastewater

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      Environmental Science & Technology

      American Chemical Society (ACS)

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          Abstract

          We operated pilot-scale submerged membrane bioreactors (MBR) treating real municipal wastewater for over 3 months and observed an interesting phenomenon that carbohydrate concentrations in the MBRs rapidly increased, which consequently resulted in membrane fouling, when relative abundance of the member of uncultured Chloroflexi decreased from over 30% of total Bacteria to less than 10%. We, therefore, hypothesized that the uncultured Chloroflexi present in the MBRs could preferentially degrade carbohydrates and consequently prevent membrane fouling. To test this hypothesis, we investigated the phylogenetic identity, diversity, and in situ physiology (substrate utilization characteristics) of Chloroflexi residing in the MBR by using 16S rRNA gene sequencing analysis and microautoradiography combined with fluorescence in situ hybridization (MAR-FISH) technique. Most of the clones related to the phylum Chloroflexiwere affiliated with the Chloroflexi subphylum 1 containing only a few cultured representatives. The MAR-FISH revealed that the members of Chloroflexi were metabolically versatile and could preferentially utilize glucose and N-acetyl glucosamine (a main substantial constituent of the cell wall peptidoglycan) under oxic and anoxic conditions. The utilization of these compounds was low at low pH. These findings suggest that the members of Chloroflexi are ecologically significant in the MBR treating municipal wastewater and are responsible for degradation of SMP including carbohydrates and cellular materials, which consequently reduces membrane fouling potential.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Environmental Science & Technology
          Environ. Sci. Technol.
          American Chemical Society (ACS)
          0013-936X
          1520-5851
          November 2007
          November 2007
          : 41
          : 22
          : 7787-7794
          18075089
          © 2007
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